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22 November 2020
Our National Vice-Chair Ché Donald told the media that government proposals to freeze police officer pay "will feel like a slap in the face" to our members who been on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis.
Speaking to LBC presenter Tom Swarbrick this morning, Mr Donald said the move - which is expected to be announced by the Chancellor on Wednesday - was "inherently unfair and smacks of austerity".
He pointed out that federated officers are still recovering from the pay freezes of the last decade and that police pay is around 18% below where it should be.
"We've had police officers joining the line for foodbanks prior to the coronavirus outbreak," he said. "That's from the fact that pay has been undermined during the period of austerity so we're still trying to catch up to where we should be. So, to bring forward the suggestion of pay freezes or incremental pay freezes will actually make it far more difficult to maintain a standard of living that our members can afford."
He said this needed to be set in context of events this year - where in the first three months of the pandemic, assaults against police officers went up 21%.
Mr Donald added: "To say you're going to affect police officer pay while they've been out there policing this, contracting the virus, some officers even dying from the virus, just smacks of unfairness."
And he warned that, while people will always want to join the police, a freeze could only impact negatively on the government's target to increase police officer numbers by 20,000.