Strike threat as police pay talks break down

The first national police strike in 88 years is looming after pay talks broke down.

An official ‘failure to agree’ has been registered at the Police Negotiating Board after an offer of a 2.3% pay rise from September was turned down.

Jan Berry, chair of officers’ body the Police Federation, said the government was “on course for an all-out war with the UK’s 170,000 officers”. She separately told a Home Affairs select committee that industrial action might be the only option available to police officers.

“I believe it would be a tragedy for policing if officers were ever forced to go on strike – it’s the last thing police officers want. But push them any further, and the last thing they want might just become their only option,” she told MPs.

British police officers have been barred from industrial action since they last went on strike in 1919 over pay. But a Police Federation spokeswoman told Personnel Today that a ballot on moving to end the ban could be held next month.

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