Police officers are to get a two per cent pay rise, after the Government eased its one per cent cap on public sector pay rises.

The police and prison officers – who will get a 1.7 per cent increase - are the first to benefit from this move from the Government.

Nevertheless, national Police Federation chair Steve White said the two per cent increase, which is effective from 1 September this year, would leave many officers “angry and deflated”.

He explained: “Police officers do not join the service to make huge amounts of money; they do it out of a sense of duty and this year in particular have been tested to the max. However, they expect to be paid suitably for the immensely demanding role they perform and this simply is not the case.”

The two per cent award is a one per cent pensionable pay rise across the board, plus one per cent as an extra amount this year, non-pensionable.

“We asked for 2.8 per cent and provided compelling evidence to support this, which on first review appears to be reflected in the recommendations made by the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) – the body which makes recommendations on police pay – to the Government. We were not greedy in what we asked for. Officers have been taking home about 15 per cent less than they were seven years ago.  While it is a step in the right direction, the Government should have done this sooner but we don’t feel that non-consolidated pay awards are the way forward.”

There are also concerns about how the pay increase will be funded.

“If the money is to come out of existing budgets then we could find that officer numbers have to be further cut,” says Jim Mallen, chairman of Bedfordshire Police Federation, “This would be shameful.”

The PRRB report contains four recommendations including an increase in London Weighting and Dog Handlers’ Allowance, the introduction of ‘targeted arrangements’ in the year ahead to give chief officers the flexibility to make extra payments to officers in hard to fill roles and the development of an integrated police workforce and pay reform plan through to 2020.

The 76-page report ends with a commitment from the review body to help develop an effective police officer package which supports delivering a policing service for the public.

It states: “We conclude that the environment for the 2018/19 pay round will be challenging but could also present opportunities for the parties to take a more flexible approach with a view to the significant reforms ahead. On a more general point, we commented at the start of this report on the importance of pay restraint not undermining the “contract” with society in which the public expects to have an effective police service enabled by fair remuneration.

“The service is also at risk as pressures on the police officer workforce rise in the context of changing demand, reduced workforce numbers and restrictions on officers. Against this background our terms of reference require us to take a consistent, strategic and holistic approach to police officer pay and conditions. We therefore stand ready to play our part in developing an effective police officer package that supports delivering the service to the public.

The national Federation will now be looking closely at the details in the PRRB report and will provide a further update as soon as possible.

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