THE pay increase police officers receive next year must make up for years of stagnant earnings – and recognise the hard work they put into policing the pandemic, Hampshire Police Federation has said.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the pay freeze imposed last year would end in April 2022, but the amount of the pay rise is unknown and it may not keep up with inflation, which is currently 3.1% and is predicted to go above 4% by December.
On average, police pay has fallen in real terms by 12.4% since 2010.
Hampshire Police Federation said: “This is good news, but officers are feeling sceptical about whether or not it will actually happen. They don’t feel confident that the Government will recognise the value of police officers and pay us accordingly.
“We need to have at least a 1% pay rise, plus inflation on top of that, and for it to recognise how we’ve policed throughout the pandemic. But even that will not get our wages to the right level. For most officers, what they take home now is roughly what they took home 10 years ago, because of all the cuts.”
When the current pay freeze was announced in July, the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) withdrew its support and engagement with the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB), saying it was “not fit for purpose”.
Hampshire Police Federation agreed, saying: “The first step is that we need to have a good mechanism for our pay increases, because the PRRB is not impartial and therefore not fit for purpose. A lot of work needs to be done between now and then to get a proper mechanism for our pay.”