Budget reserves should be put towards a pay rise says Federation
The Metropolitan Police Federation has called for police budget reserves to be put towards giving officers the pay rise they deserve.
As at March of last year, forces in England and Wales held £1.6bn in usable reserves to cover unexpected costs and to invest in policing.
Federation Chairman Ken Marsh is calling for that money to be put directly into officers’ pockets following this year’s ‘derisory’ 2% pay award.
Because the 2017 pay award consisted of a 1% rise and a 1% one-off bonus, the increase actually means that officers are effectively only getting another 1% in their pay packets - an award described as a ‘punch on the nose’ by Met Commissioner Cressida Dick.
She says it will affect officer recruitment and retention in the capital and that it has made it hard to make officers feel they are valued.
Ken told Tom Swarbrick on LBC radio; “I’d like to see Commissioners use the money in reserve to pay my colleagues a bonus or an increase in their salary to get the rise up to 3% which I don’t think is unfair.
“My members are saying the amount is derisory. We are asked to monitor carefully what is required and put forward a valid argument on pay to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) only for the Government to take absolutely no notice of what we tell them.
“It’s absolutely absurd, it doesn’t make sense that the Government is not engaging correctly in the process, because that’s the only process we have to put our case across.”
The fact that the police cannot strike in protest about pay and conditions is being taken advantage of by the Government, Ken told the programme.
“We can’t strike, we can’t argue, we have to accept what’s put in front of us, so because of this they (the Government) have a duty to carefully listen to us and to respond.
“It can’t be right that we enter into a pay process only to get a kick in the teeth at the end of it and the Government to tell us ‘you’re not having it’.
“We’ve been treated like this for the past 8 years, no pay rise has followed no pay rise, 1% has followed 1%. I think we are being picked on and because we don’t have any redress we are an easy target.”
Ken added: “While cuts are not solely to blame for the rise in violent crime in the capital they certainly haven’t helped.
“When you see officer numbers dwindling and resources dwindling then something’s going to end up not getting done. After 8 years of it all we are seeing the situation we are in now.
“I’m fully behind what Commissioner Dick has said about pay.”
Rupert Reid, Director of Research and Policy at The Policy Exchange said he wasn’t surprised at the anger being felt by officers.
“Wages have gone up generally by 3% but police wages haven’t,” he told the programme.
“New cyber crime is happening which wasn’t 10 years ago, there’s budgetary pressures and the cost of living means some Met officers now can’t afford to live in the communities they are policing.”