12 April 2022
Police Officer pay needs huge hike as it dramatically falls 20% behind the cost of living over the past decade
Police Officer pay now needs a huge hike as it has dramatically fallen 20% behind the cost of living over the past decade +.
The Police Federation’s #PayOurPolice campaign is promoting across Social Media how some serving police officers are sadly using food banks, struggling to put the heating on at home or being afford the fuel to get to work - and how some police officers are even having to sofa surf as they can’t afford a place to stay.
As well as calling for a pay rise for officers in 2022 – to at least ensure officers do not fall any further behind inflation - the #PayOurPolice campaign is reminding the public, Government and MPs of how constant attacks to pay and conditions over the past 10+ years have left their Bobbies beleaguered.
Adam Commons, Chair of Leicestershire Police Federation, said: “Since 2010 the Government have treated the police as a scapegoat for their austerity plans and now the Covid recovery financial issues.
“We have just come out of generational anomaly with a worldwide health pandemic. Thousands of lives have been lost, and through it all the police carried on, business as usual, going into people’s homes, making arrests, colleagues risking their health to protect their communities.
“We need to change the language and stop referring to any increase as a “pay award”. That language looks wrong and like we are asking to be rewarded. We are not. What we need is a fair cost of living increase, the likes of which we have not seen through the last 12 years.
“Fuel costs are rocketing. My council tax has gone up over £40 per month since 2010, utility bills have climbed and we now have an energy price cap problem, where some of my colleagues are telling me their gas and electric bills have hit £500 per month. You cannot sustain those increases on a wage that has remained mainly stagnant.
“In 2010 pay point 1 for a police officer was £25,962. In 2022 pay point 1 is £24,780. Those numbers speak for themselves and with the current cost of living crisis my colleagues cannot continue.
“The Government believe that policing is still an attractive vocation because of the number of applicants we have historically had and it proves that the money doesn’t matter. But that does not tell the full story and we are starting to see with attrition rates and details in the pay and morale survey that large numbers of officers are leaving the job soon after starting and 42% of my colleagues in Leicestershire are worrying about money every day.”
Adam added: “In the late 70’s there was a recruitment crisis in policing and pay had to be uplifted dramatically to entice people to apply. We do a dangerous job, assaults on my colleagues are going up every year and they should be paid a fair wage taking into account of the dangers they face.
“We will only get fairness in our pay if we have a fair mechanism for deciding what our uplift should be. The Federation stepped away from the PRRB because they are not independent.
“When they do make an award the Home Secretary can ignore it, and recently the Government have gone as far as telling them what their parameters should be. And yet the same politicians have IPSA who are so independent that no one can overrule them and since they were formed in 2010 have increased MP’s wages by £19,000 in the same 12 year period. There always seems to be a pot of money for them.
“We need a fair and sustained increase in pay to recognise the danger my colleagues face every day and the sacrifices they make to police our communities. If the Government doesn’t act soon we will continue to lose good people, but at a higher rate as policing spirals further into crisis.”
The #PayOurPolice campaign is also circulating extensive public polling of the electorate that shows high backing for a police officer pay rise from voters across England and Wales. Four out of five members of the public surveyed support a police officer pay rise at the next opportunity.
A Police Federation spokesman said: “Regardless of the political party people support, voters polled say that MPs Backing our Bobbies with words AND actions would result in more votes for their parties.
“But MPs should not just back a pay rise for police officers because it’s a vote winner – they should back a pay rise for police officers because it’s the right thing to do. So our undervalued officers can be properly recognised and rewarded for their work and the risks they face.”