Officers Will Leave Force Over Poor Pay

EXPERIENCED officers will leave the police service if there isn’t a proper pay rise this year, Hampshire Police Federation has said.

Officers are waiting to hear what the 2022/23 pay rise will be, which kicks in on 1 September. There has been a 20% real-terms pay cut since 2010, which is likely to get worse as inflation rises and the cost-of-living crisis worsens.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said: “Many officers are struggling to make ends meet. We’re aware of officers who can’t afford to put petrol in their cars to get to work because of increasing fuel prices.

“Many forces are struggling to recruit, and also to retain experienced officers, because a lot of officers are now realising they can get better-paid jobs outside of policing. I spoke to an officer just last week who’s got a job four days a week earning more than she was earning full-time with the police. So she’s resigned and gone. And she’s got coming up to 20 years’ service.”

Zoë added: “We need a decent pay rise – that’s the bottom line. We need a pay rise that at least exceeds the current inflation levels.”

Rail workers and other public-sector workers are currently striking, but police officers are not allowed to strike. Zoë said: “Even if striking was an option, the majority wouldn’t because they care about the public they serve. They want to be there when the public needs them, and I think the Government is taking advantage of that, which is just completely wrong.”

She said her message to the Government was: “Put some real investment into our pay, not just this year but for the next few years, to get us back to where we should be.”

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