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9 March 2023
“Unless the Government stands up and recognises what it has done to police pay and conditions over the years, I cannot see how the police service can go forward.”
Surrey Police Federation Secretary Tom Arthur was speaking as the national Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) called for a minimum 17% pay increase for officers.
PFEW called for the pay rise after an independent study from Social Market Foundation (SMF) revealed police pay has lagged almost 20% behind inflation since 2000.
This makes the police an outlier among protective services workers, public sector workers and all workers. The report found all those groups saw their pay rise in real terms over this period – by 1%, 14%, and 5% respectively. Additionally, the research shows MPs’ salaries saw a 4% rise in total over the period.
Tom said: “Over many years, police pay has been allowed to erode. The Government has taken advantage of the lack of rights that officers are afforded and this independent report on police pay from the SMF shows the extent of this over the past 22 years.
“It’s about time that the police service was recognised and at least bought in line with the lowest comparable pay increase, and that is why the figure of 17% that has been independently researched and evidenced is a realistic demand by the Police Federation.
“Officers are already reduced to using payday loans and even attending food banks – this cannot be allowed to carry on while they perform one of the most dangerous and demanding of professions.
“Without pay parity, officers are having no choice but to leave the career that they love. We are losing dedicated and experienced officers and that will only increase. With a minimum of two years before a new officer is trained, this is a real risk to forces.
“The public in Surrey are the ones who will suffer, as the force cannot carry on providing the service that the public want, need and deserve. Unless the Government stands up and recognises what it has done to police pay and conditions over the years, I cannot see how the police service can go forward.
“For everyone’s sake, it’s about time that the Government started listening.”