We Have To Keep Fighting For Fair Pay

IT’S important that the issue of police pay is kept on the Government’s radar, Hampshire Police Federation has said.

Chair Zoë Wakefield said she had written to her local MPs to ask them to endorse an Early Day Motion (EDM 547) tabled by the MP for South Shields. The EDM calls on the Government to urgently explain the more than 25% real-terms pay cut since 2010 for police officers, which is set to increase further with rises in the cost of living and inflation.

The EDM sets out to “recognise the outstanding contributions made by police officers to the security and wellbeing of communities across the UK”.

It was important that the EDM got enough support to be discussed in Parliament, Zoë said, but she added that the replies she’d received so far from MPs said they did not endorse Early Day Motions.

Zoë said: “However the MPs said that they were happy to raise the issue and discuss it with the Policing Minister.”

She added: “I think that the motion could be worded better in terms of what we’re actually asking, because we’re not just asking for an explanation of what’s happened in the past, we want to know what’s going to happen in the future.

“But we definitely need to keep the issue of police pay on everybody’s radar – we need to keep going on about it in any way we possibly can.

“Some officers are already leaving the force over pay. We are managing to recruit new officers, but we’re losing experienced officers at the other end.

“The vast majority of officers who leave are now earning more than they were as a police officer. Many of my experienced colleagues are thinking: ‘Why should I effectively take a real-terms pay cut every single year when I can get a job in the private sector earning more money and without the restrictions on my private life, the difficulty of getting time off?’

“I’ve even had people who’ve said to me, ‘I still love policing, but at some point I’m going to have to put my family first.’”

The Police Federation of England and Wales’ national Chair, Steve Hartshorn, said “Stringent and urgent action to increase police officer pay to protect the profession must now be an urgent priority for the Government. For police forces across the country where morale is already at rock bottom, being the only overlooked emergency service directly impacts our ability to serve the public.”

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