Police officers to get seven per cent pay rise

Police officers are to receive pay rises of seven per cent across all ranks after the Government accepted the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB). 

The offer is well short of the 17 per cent claim issued by the Police Federation and  the Government’s decision to rule out extra borrowing to fund the pay increases could mean cuts to existing frontline services.

The current level of CPI inflation is running at 8.7 per cent and Prime Minister Rishi  Sunak - who has promised to cut it to around 5.3 per cent by the end of the year - wants to avoid increases which could fuel a wage-price spiral.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt told MPs it was “important to deliver on the Prime Minister’s priority to get debt falling and to control borrowing to avoid adding inflationary pressures and risk prolonging higher inflation”.

He said: “That means taking difficult but responsible decisions on the public finances, including public sector pay, because more borrowing is itself inflationary.”

Chief Secretary to the Treasury John Glen said the police pay rise would be partly covered by increasing the cost of certain visas by up to 20 per cent to create more funding for border forces, allowing the Home Office to divert some money towards police officer pay.

Responding to the announcement, South Wales Police Federation chair Steve Treharne said: “The Government is once again placing an intolerable strain on policing budgets and this pay award should be fully funded, not paid for by money saved by making cuts to essential services elsewhere.

“We are seeing the usual smoke and mirrors by the Government when it comes to pay awards. It seeks to gain the credit for this round of pay awards when in reality it is simply shifting the burden onto forces.”

National chair Steve Hartshorn said: “I have no doubt that police officers will have mixed feelings – on the one hand, they will be pleased that the pay award was not as bad as some media outlets had speculated, but also disappointed that it doesn’t fully take account of inflation, as they and their families struggle with increased utility, mortgage and food costs. 

“We will continue to push for fair pay awards that take full account of inflation and recognise and reward the unique status of police officers; including the introduction of a fair, independent mechanism and negotiation process, so that we can properly sit down with government and employers to negotiate pay settlements that fully consider the risks and restrictions placed on police officers’ private and professional lives. The focus going forward needs to be on pay restoration.”