The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has called the projected pay rise for police officers this year ‘disgusting’.
The government has confirmed that the post-pandemic economic recovery will allow police officers to receive pay rises over the next three years. But the Home Office’s recommendation for 2022-23 is a rise of a minimum of 2% – a figure the PFEW says is unacceptable.
The PFEW said police officers had faced more than a decade of pay freezes and below inflation pay rises equating to a 20% real-terms pay cut since 2010.
The organisation’s most recent pay and morale survey, released last week, revealed more than one in 10 officers regularly struggled to cover the cost of essential items.
Disenchantment with current salary rewards was also clear, it said, with a record 92% of police officers saying they were not fairly paid for the stresses and strain of their job, while 66% claimed they were unfairly paid compared with other key workers.
Pay and inflation
Of the 29,587 officers who responded, 95% said their treatment had a negative impact on their morale, while 93% stated they did not feel respected by government.
National vice-chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, Ché Donald, said: “Given that police officer pay has fallen by 20% in real terms since 2010, I can only assume the Home Office recommendation of a 2% pay award to the Police Remuneration Review Body contains a typo and missed out the much needed zero after the two to make 20.
“Anything else is not just grossly unfair, it is disgusting and shows just how little this government really values police officers.
“After more than a decade of pay caps and freezes, the Police Federation of England and Wales’s Pay and Morale Survey reveals a worsening morale crisis in policing and acts as a health warning for anyone considering joining the service.
“The survey results make clear the financial pressure on police officers, their families and the stress this puts on them just to make ends meet, this is not anecdotal evidence, it is empirical.
“All police officers want is fair and equitable treatment in relation to pay, this recommendation of 2% comes at a time when inflation is running at 5%, with national insurance increases and spikes in energy prices. We will continue to advance our plans to challenge this pay mechanism, which quite frankly, is nothing short of subjugation and servitude.”