Police officers demand inflation-busting 17pc pay rise

Officers say they have been underpaid for 20 years and treated worse than other emergency workers as they don't have the right to strike
Police officers are demanding an inflation-busting 17 per cent pay rise after claiming they have been underpaid for almost a quarter of a century.
Research carried out by a think tank suggests police pay has lagged almost 20 per cent behind inflation since 2000, with officers claiming they are treated less favourably than other emergency workers because they do not have the right to go on strike.
Last year officers received a five per cent pay increase, but the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents the rank and file, said anything less than 17 per cent this year would be unacceptable.
Sir Mark Rowley, the head of Scotland Yard, recently called for Met officers to receive a 10 per cent award, arguing that he was finding it increasingly difficult to recruit, retain and motivate staff.
A study by the independent Social Market Foundation suggested other emergency workers had seen their pay rise by one per cent over the last two decades while public sector workers had enjoyed a 14 per cent increase.
But the report said police officers had seen their pay decline in real terms by 17 per cent and suggested this was linked to the fact that they are banned by law from taking industrial action.
Steve Hartshorn, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said the report should act as a “wake-up call” for policymakers.
He said: “For a long time now, the Police Federation of England and Wales has been working to achieve better pay and working conditions for our members. Police officers put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect their communities.
“That is why today our national council has taken the decision to call for a minimum of 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,” said Hartshorn.
“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 is so important and unique that they do not have access to industrial rights.”