We deserve better – UK police urge Priti Patel to increase ‘unfair’ pay

British armed police patrol London's Leicester Square in July 2005, following the suicide bombings on the London transport system. The photo, widely published, was transmitted into the Associated Press World wide network directly from a pda using Phojo, from a nearby wifi point.This copy was sent into the Idruna FTP, via Phojo, at the same compression as the original transmission.photo by max nash

Police bosses have renewed pleas for pay increases, telling Home Secretary Priti Patel that officers “deserve better”.

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) chairman Martin Hewitt has written to Ms Patel off the back of heavy criticism and concern over a staff wages.

Last week police representatives marched on Downing Street after it was announced that officers who earn more than £24,000 will be subject to a pay freeze this year, compared with NHS staff who will receive a 3% increase, and firefighters and local government workers who will receive 1.5%.

In his letter to the Home Secretary this week, seen by the PA news agency, Mr Hewitt said: “There is no question that properly rewarding our incredible people is now a significant issue of concern for chief constables.
Coronavirus – Thu Jan 21, 2021
Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, has written to the Home Secretary (Matt Dunham/PA)

“We simply believe they deserve better and that it is the responsibility of Government to address this across the forthcoming spending period.”

He cited the role performed by police staff during the pandemic, which has often seen frontline officers deployed “at significant personal risk to them and their families”.

Mr Hewitt, who has previously appeared at Downing Street coronavirus briefings alongside the Home Secretary, said: “For many it feels unfair and that their contribution is undervalued.

“And, unlike other parts of the public service, officers do not have the option of industrial action to make their case more strongly.

“As the Government makes spending decisions over coming months, we urge you to fund a settlement which properly reflects the important and complex work police officers do, and starts to address the pay shortfall.”

The letter comes after the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents more than 130,000 officers from the rank of constable to chief inspector, passed a motion of no confidence in Ms Patel last month over pay.