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Norfolk Police Federation

"Sadly nothing ever surprises me with this Government when it comes to policing and in particular police pay"

8 December 2021

“Sadly nothing ever surprises me with this Government when it comes to policing and in particular police pay,” writes Andy Symonds, Chair of Norfolk Police Federation.

“It is simply beggars belief that the Home Secretary has yet again written to the police officers pay review body who - by the way are supposed to be independent - and advised them to take into account the 20,000 officers being recruited when they make their recommendations on pay.

“What has this got to do with giving my colleagues who’ve been on the sharp end of the pandemic, placing themselves at risk and their families health a fair pay rise?

“They have continued to service the huge demands being placed upon us which have continued unabated regardless of the demands placed upon us with the pandemic. My colleagues have performed heroically.

“Detectives are carrying huge workloads, far too many crimes and the demands of the administration of these cases have grown out of control. This is one of the reasons we’re seeing a recruitment crisis in the detective world.

“Just because the police service is recruiting more officers does not, should not impact on awarding an above inflation pay rise to officers next September. Effectively this letter infers that the pay review body should temper their recommendations for a pay award because we’re recruiting police officers. In what world would this be acceptable as a rationale argument. The answer is one in which this Government hold officers in contempt.

“In writing this letter the Home Secretary has cemented in my mind that she and this Government just do not care about the financial wellbeing of police officers. If they truly meant their steady stream of warm words towards officers and the service, like they have our backs and will support us.

“Then the letter the Home Secretary wrote would have been worded that they want to see the pay review body award an above inflation pay rise due to the fact that they imposed a pay freeze this year and inflation is running at around 4%.

“As well as taking into account we’ve seen around a 18% erosion in officers pay over the years of austerity with pay freezes and caps.

“I have been meeting with some of the 9 Norfolk MP’s raising the issue of police pay and the fact that the current pay mechanisms are inherently unfair and the Government of the day can interfere with the supposedly independent process of setting the terms of reference of the pay review body. I want to see and I know all of my colleagues both locally and nationally in the Fed want to see this Government listen and engage with us in making the pay system fair and stop this unfair influences being placed on the pay review body.

“The current system is broken beyond repair when you consider that all of the staff associations that represent Constable to Chief Constable have exited stage left in terms of taking part in this laughable pay review system.

“Therefore I call on this Government and Home Secretary to get around the table with us to start a fresh and set up a fair pay system that takes into account the fact that police officers have many restrictions placed on them and cannot take any form of industrial rights when we’re being treated unfairly, with contempt and there is nothing currently we can do about this. And this is what really hurts my members the feeling of hopelessness.”

You can see the letter from Home Secretary Priti Patel to the PRRB here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/remit-letter-to-the-police-remuneration-review-body-2022-to-2023/prrb-remit-letter-from-the-home-secretary-2022-to-2023-accessible-version