Officers Hit By Cost Of Living Crisis

“A LOT of officers just don’t have any money left at the end of the month and are struggling to pay their bills,” Hampshire Police Federation has said.

Rising energy and food bills, double-digit inflation, and worries about paying mortgages and rents were impacting officers who haven’t had a real-terms pay rise in years, said Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield.

She said: “It’s a problem for the whole country. But a lot of people have had regular pay rises over the past 10, 20 years. We haven’t. So officers were struggling before this.

“We had a presentation last year where a whole batch of officers literally had £100 disposable income left every month after their bills, and that didn’t include fuel for their cars. With fuel prices going up, there’s a lot of officers who just don’t have any money left at the end of the month and are struggling to pay their bills.”

Hampshire Police Federation recently fought to get an increase in the South East Allowance for hard-working officers, getting a £700 annual increase (to £1,800), but officers still don’t get the full amount they could of £2,000 a year.

Zoë said: “Hopefully this will make a little bit of a difference. But with everything else going up, it’s going to get swallowed up very, very quickly in household bills.

“The Federation will keep putting pressure on the Government and giving them real-life examples about how officers are struggling. We’ve got officers in Hampshire who fill their car up on pay day and know they can’t afford to fill it up again until the next pay day, so they have to really think about where they go, where they drive, to make sure they’ve got enough petrol to get to work.

“We’ve got officers who actually need to work overtime, which is not good because then they’re not getting the required rest they should have on their days off.”

Hampshire officers who are struggling should get in touch with their Federation Rep, she said: “Please come to the Federation where we can put you in touch with companies that can help you out. They can go through your finances with you, see whether there’s anywhere you can make some savings, rather than going and borrowing money at extortionate interest rates you will never be able to afford to pay back.”

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