21 March 2023
Nottinghamshire Police Federation chair Simon Riley has echoed remarks made by a chief constable who warned officers would be unable to carry on for much longer without a fair pay deal.
Essex Police chief BJ Harrington made clear his position on pay in a speech to new recruits.
He told them: “Seeing 84 new officers take their oath to protect communities across Essex is an incredibly proud moment but there is no doubt it is becoming increasingly difficult to retain the best new talent.
“Police pay has fallen behind that of other sectors by 17 per cent since the year 2000 and this is too big a gap to simply ignore.
“I need the officers and staff across Essex to focus on helping people, keeping people safe and catching criminals, not on whether they can afford to stay in the job. You need to be able to afford to do your job.”
Mr Harrington said some Essex officers were using a food bank run by colleagues at a police station in the county, 300 had asked for permission to take second jobs to make ends meet and many others were leaving the Force for financial reasons.
He added: “You can’t Taser the gas bill and you can’t handcuff the family food shop at Lidl. And you can’t arrest rising mortgage bills.”
Simon said he fully backed the Essex chief’s comments and urged more senior officers to do the same.
“The police pay crisis has been going on for too long and it is clearly having a huge impact on officer retention because chief constables are now joining the calls for a fair increase this year,” he said.
“Forces are losing too many officers - from new recruits to experienced detectives - because of pay and this issue will cause huge problems for years to come unless it is addressed as a matter of urgency.
“More senior officers should make their views known because it will be much harder for the Government to ignore our warnings if they are backed up by the chief constables.
“Our members face risks every day just doing their job and they must be fairly rewarded for that.
“Our communities value the selfless and tireless work they do in keeping us safe and it is time the Government did too.”
The Police Federation issued its 17 per cent pay claim after an independent study showed a landslide decline in police pay since 2000.
The research by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) revealed real terms police pay has fallen almost 20 per cent behind inflation between 2000 and 2022.