Police officers will take pay row to court

Infuriated police officers will take their protest over pay to court, it has emerged.

Just days after the Westminster police rally, where thousands of officers took to the streets to protest over wages, the Police Federation has been given permission to legally challenge the government’s decision not to backdate police pay.

Jacqui Smith refused to honour in full the decision of the independent Police Arbitration Tribunal to award officers a 2.5% pay increase from September 2007. Instead officers received a rise from December 2007, effectively making their overall increase 1.9%.

Officers were locked in a bitter pay dispute with Smith towards the end of last year – but the federation’s chairman, Jan Berry, said the chance to go to High Court will be a positive step forwards.

“This is a positive step for the 140,000 police officers across England and Wales in their fight for fair pay. The fact that our application for a judicial review has been successful adds weight to what we have been saying all along – that the Home Secretary betrayed police officers by failing to honour the decision of the independent Police Arbitration Tribunal.”

A judge said he had “no hesitation” in ruling there was an arguable case to apply for judicial review, according to the federation.

Meanwhile, the independent review of policing by Sir Ronnie Flanagan, which will discuss how better to manage police resources, is expected to be launched this Thursday (7 February).

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