9 March 2023
Nottinghamshire Police Federation chair Simon Riley described new figures that reveal officers have had a 17 per cent pay cut since the turn of the century as “scandalous”
And he took aim at politicians after it emerged that MPs have received a four per cent pay rise in the same period.
Now he’s added his voice to those demanding a 17 per cent pay increase for members to redress the balance, including the Federation’s national chair Steve Hartshorn and Federation representatives across the country.
“We knew that austerity and a lack of pay rises have really hurt our members in their pockets but to see it spelled out in such stark terms in this report is scandalous,” he said.
“Where has the money gone? It’s not as if there’s been the investment to make our health, transport and social services the envy of the world.
“Yet our MPs have managed to find the money to ensure they’ve been insulated from inflationary pressures and the cost of living crisis.
“It’s disgraceful. There shouldn’t be one rule for those in Westminster and those tasked with serving and protecting them, and the rest of the country.”
Simon’s comments came as new figures from Social Market Foundation (SMF), a non-partisan think tank, revealed that pay for UK police officers declined by 17 per cent in real terms between 2000 and 2022.
According to the report, policing is an outlier among emergency services workers, public sector workers and indeed all workers.
It said that all these groups saw their pay rise in real terms over this period – by a total of 1 per cent, 14 per cent, and five per cent respectively.
Simon added: “Police officers face risks every day just doing their job, and they went above and beyond during the pandemic.
“Our communities value the selfless and tireless work they do in keeping us safe. All we’re asking for is an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.”
The SMF report said officers’ decline in pay was likely to be linked to the restrictions on police officers’ right to strike compared to all other workers, including other emergency service personnel.
It also found that police constable starting salaries have lagged behind earnings as a whole across the economy by a considerable amount.
SMF has calculated that if these real-terms trends continued over the next five years, police pay would see a further real-terms decline of four per cent by 2027 compared to private and public sector worker pay, which is expected to rise over the same period.
A key factor in police pay discussions is the P-factor which SMF has suggested should be offered in addition to its findings.
The P-factor is an element of police pay that reflects the unique responsibilities police officers experience relative to other comparable roles.
This includes their risk of exposure to physical and psychological harm, alongside the restrictions that are placed upon their private lives.
The P-factor payment does not feature in SMF’s report, highlighting that the actual figure of degradation of police pay is even greater.
National Federation chair Steve Hartshorn labelled the research a “wake-up call for policy-makers”.
He said: “Police officers put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect their communities.
“That’s why today our National Council has taken the decision to call for a minimum 17 per cent increase in pay for our officers.
“The Government can no longer sit by and ignore our members’ basic needs and must recognise the impact of this independent research.
“In the context of ongoing inflation, indications of a police retention crisis, and reports of officers being forced to turn to food banks, the issue of police pay must be addressed now after more than a decade of being ignored.
“Police officers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and that begins with better pay.
“Pay that not only reflects the cost-of-living crisis that many of us face but puts right the 17 per cent decline since 2000 and compensates officers for the dangers they’re exposed to as part of the job.
“They must be compensated fairly for doing a job that’s so important and unique that they do not have access to industrial rights.”