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Hertfordshire Police Federation

Federation says it has ‘no confidence’ in Home Secretary

22 July 2021

The Police Federation of England and Wales has declared it has “no confidence” in the Home Secretary, following an emergency meeting of its National Council.

At a meeting this morning (22 July), the Federation also resolved to withdraw its support and engagement from the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB), labelling the current police officer pay mechanism “not fit for purpose”.

It follows a pay freeze announced by the Government on the same day that NHS staff were awarded a three per cent rise. This, the Federation believes, shows that while the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister are happy to offer warm words and praise for policing, it is not backed up by action.

National Federation chair John Apter said: “The PRRB is the only mechanism we have to consider any pay award for police officers. It has its hands constantly tied by the Government which continually interferes. The PRRB itself recognises its lack of independence. We can no longer accept this and have no confidence in this system which is why we are walking away.

“We often hear the Home Secretary praise police officers, but our members are so angry with this Government. They have been on the frontline of this pandemic for 18 months and will now see other public services given pay increases while they receive nothing.

“At the beginning of this pandemic, they endured PPE shortages and were not even prioritised for the vaccination. They continue to be politicised and this pay announcement is the final straw.

“As the organisation that represents more than 130,000 police officers I can say quite categorically – we have no confidence in the current Home Secretary. I cannot look my colleagues in the eye and do nothing.”

Hertfordshire Police Federation chair and secretary Geoff Bardell and Al Wollaston are fully supportive of the Federation’s decision.

“It really is a case of enough is enough,” says Geoff, “The Home Secretary wastes no opportunity to tell us how she supports us and how she has got our backs. We have tried our best to work with her and together offer support and recognition to police officers. But it all seems a bit one-sided and we can no longer be expected to swallow everything we are being told. Vocal support will not help pay officers’ bills and it certainly doesn’t ensure that we are treated fairly for the critical role we play in society.”

With inflation set to increase to almost four per cent later this year, the pay freeze is yet another real-terms pay cut for police officers in England and Wales. The Federation says it is a huge slap in the face for officers who have been attacked and vilified while holding the frontline during the pandemic. 

A statement from the Federation said: “PFEW has tried its level best to be entirely co-operative in all dealings with Government. But this Government and this Home Secretary, for all their talk of how much they value what we do, have made this impossible. They cannot be trusted or taken at face value in the way we would expect.

“As the undisputed voice of policing we say this to the Home Secretary: you cannot pat our members on the back for their heroic efforts with one hand, while effectively taking their pay with the other. Warm words are no longer enough.”

 

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