THE Home Secretary needs to answer tough questions about police pay and the controversial police degree at this month’s Annual Conference, Hampshire Police Federation has said.
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW)’s Annual Conference returns on 17-18 May as a hybrid event, with the live event taking place in Manchester. This year’s theme is ‘Fighting for Fairness’ and speakers will include Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said the Home Secretary needed to answer some pressing questions from delegates.
She said: “If I were to ask the Home Secretary a question it would be about our pay. I’m sure there will be lots of people asking her that.
“She clearly doesn’t value police officers or she wouldn’t have got involved in the PRRB [Police Remuneration Review Body] process last year when it is supposed to be independent.
“I’d also like to ask her about the police degree programme, the PEQF. There are so many forces that are struggling to recruit and are having to go back to the old system, the IPLDP system, where you don’t need a degree in order to be able to recruit people.
“Because the starting pay is low, people don’t see it as a bonus that they’re getting their degree paid for, because they’re pretty much having to do a full-time police job and a degree on top, and that’s really difficult for them.
“So does the Home Secretary still think that you need to have a policing degree? Because when half a dozen forces are now recruiting people on the old programme and the Government has allowed that to happen, it would suggest that they don’t think that.”
Zoë added that she was looking forward to the Conference being in-person once again after the pandemic, and that Hampshire Police Federation Reps would get a lot out of it.
She said: “I think the Conference is really important and it seems like forever since we had it in-person. Since our elections we’ve got over 18 new Reps, and even some of our Reps that joined us a few years ago have never been to a Conference.
“It’s really important for Reps from around the country to come to the Conference to listen to all the vital topics that are going to be discussed, and obviously to have that opportunity to interact with the Home Secretary and people in the political world.”