Police officers are demanding an inflation-fighting 17 percent pay rise after claiming they have been underpaid for nearly a quarter of a century.
Research from a think tank shows police wages have lagged inflation by nearly 20 percent since 2000, with officers claiming they are treated less favorably than other emergency workers because they don’t have the right to strike.
Last year, officers were given a five per cent pay rise, but the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents constituency, said anything less than 17 per cent this year would be unacceptable.
Sir Mark Rowley, the head of Scotland Yard, recently called for a 10 per cent pay for Met officers, arguing that he was finding it increasingly difficult to recruit, retain and motivate staff.
A study by the independent Social Market Foundation suggested that other aid workers had seen their wages rise by one percent over the past two decades, while public sector workers had seen a 14 percent increase.
But the report said police officers had seen their pay fall by 17 percent in real terms and suggested this was linked to the fact that they are prohibited by law from taking industrial action.
Steve Hartshorn, president of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said the report should serve as a “wake-up call” to policy makers.
‘Government can no longer ignore the basic needs of our members’
He said: “The Police Federation of England and Wales has been working for some time to improve pay and working conditions for our members. Police officers risk their lives every day to serve and protect their communities.
“That is why our National Council made the decision today to demand that our officers’ pay be increased by at least 17 percent.
“The government can no longer stand by and ignore the basic needs of our members and must recognize the impact of this independent investigation. In the context of continued inflation, indications of a police retention crisis and reports of officers being forced to turn to food banks, the issue of police pay must now be addressed after being ignored for more than a decade,” said Hartshorn.
“Police officers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and that starts with better pay. A reward that not only reflects the cost-of-living crisis many of us face, but also rectifies the 17 percent drop since 2000 and compensates agents for the dangers they face as part of their job. They should be fairly compensated for doing work so important and unique that they have no access to industrial rights.”