7 September 2022
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has today written to the newly appointed Home Secretary, Rt. Hon. Suella Braverman QC MP, to congratulate her on her appointment but also to make clear the financial and work pressures on our 139,000 members across England and Wales.
While acknowledging the steps being discussed by the new Government to help everyone with rising costs, PFEW told the new Home Secretary that it is unacceptable that police officers have seen a 25 per cent real term pay cut over the last 12 years. This is despite the fact that every days thousands of police officers place their lives and health on the line to protect the public.
While the Police Uplift Programme to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers is welcome, so far just over 13,000 have been recruited. It takes time to develop the skills needed for the demands of the job. With an average 7,000 police officers resigning or retiring each year, the police service is haemorrhaging those who have experience; and we know that poor pay has been a key reason in those officers moving on. Rightly, the public expects not just the correct number of police officers but also policing of the highest quality.
The change of Prime Minister and Home Secretary is a chance for Government to show it is determined to ensure the public get the policing they are desperate for, and officers once again feel their service is respected.
The Home Secretary must ensure officers have a proper welfare provision, the correct equipment and enough colleagues to ensure they can do their jobs properly and provide the level of service the public expects of them.
Policing needs long-term and sustained funding, alongside fair pay and conditions of service.
From her time as Attorney General, the new Home Secretary will be aware that the changes to the guidance on disclosure for the CPS has resulted in officers spending inordinate amounts of time caught up in unnecessary red tape. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency, and PFEW seeks the Home Secretary’s support to help change this to allow officers to get back on the streets and protect the public.
In the letter, PFEW has called for an urgent meeting with the new Home Secretary to discuss these matters and offer guidance on how Government can demonstrate its support for policing.