The Police Federation’s new national chair and deputy chair have sounded a warning about officer pay amid inflation and the rising cost of living.
Steve Hartshorn and Tiff Lynch pointed out the irony of police officers who are prevented by law from going on strike, keeping order at picket lines for other public sector workers.
They are urging the Government to make a meaningful pay offer at the next review in September or risk seeing officers leave the service because they cannot make ends meet and provide for their families.
Gwent Police Federation’s interim chair Christopher Back said: “I’m pleased that the national leadership has raised this issue. Pay is the number one concern of our members, including many hard-working officers who are being asked to perform highly stressful and demanding roles while wondering how they are going to support their families and make ends meet.”
Steve, who became chair in April, explained: “Is it just me or do you also notice the irony of 139,000 police officers across England and Wales, who have been consciously denied a real term pay rise for 11 years, policing a three-day strike caused to address pay conditions of 40,000 rail workers?”
Steve Hartshorn and Tiff Lynch have warned of a growing crisis in policing
He added: “Officers and their families are struggling to make ends meet because of the unprecedented rise in costs of living and yet my colleagues in England and Wales are enduring a 20 per cent real terms wage cut set against inflation since 2010.”
Some Police Federation branches have started handing out food vouchers, according to the national Federation.
Tiff added: “As the country emerges from the pandemic, everyone is coming to terms with the cost-of-living crisis. But, in all honesty, police officers have been grappling with the cost of living for many years now. Inflation is hitting a 40-year high but with pay freezes and below inflation wage rises, our members have faced a 20 per cent real terms cut to their salaries.”
The Federation is demanding fair pay which reflects the unique role police play as crown servants and the risks colleagues face; as well as an independent pay mechanism and longer-term funding settlements that for proper planning.