Police Federation has ‘no confidence’ in Home Secretary Priti Patel after ‘final straw’ pay freeze

Crime / Fri 23rd Jul 2021 at 07:31am

THE Police Federation of England and Wales says it no longer has confidence in the Home Secretary after branding a bitterly opposed pay freeze for officers as “the final straw”.

Priti Patel has confirmed police officers earning more than £24,000 would be hit by the freeze. Those earning less will be given an annual rise of £250.

The body, which represents rank-and-file officers, said the pay system was “not fit for purpose” as it announced plans to withdraw its support from the body which reviews remuneration.

The Police Federation’s national chairman John Apter said: “We often hear the Home Secretary praise police officers but our members are so angry with this government. 

“They have been on the frontline of this pandemic for 18 months and will now see other public services given pay increases while they receive nothing.”

Mr Apter said: “At the beginning of this pandemic they endured PPE shortages and were not even prioritised for the vaccination.

“They continue to be politicised and this pay announcement is the final straw.

“As the organisation that represents more than 130,000 police officers I can say quite categorically – we have no confidence in the current Home Secretary. I cannot look my colleagues in the eye and do nothing.”

Announcing the pay freeze in a written ministerial statement on Wednesday, Ms Patel said: “This is in order to ensure fairness between public and private sector wage growth, as the private sector was significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the form of reduced hours, suppressed earnings growth and increased redundancies, whilst the public sector was largely shielded from these effects.”

Mr Apter said the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) is “not truly independent” and “has its hands constantly tied by the government who continually interfere”, adding: “We can no longer accept this and have no confidence in this system which is why we are walking away.”

The Federation said it had “tried its level best” to co-operate with government, but warned: “They cannot be trusted or taken at face value in the way we would expect.”

It comes as the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said the government’s decision will make many officers feel “undervalued” and would be a “hard pill to swallow”.

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said: “As the government makes spending decisions over coming months, we are urging ministers to fund meaningful and fair pay increases from 2022 that properly reflect the important and complex work police officers do.”

Lee Freeman, the Chief Constable of Humberside Police, described the situation as “wholly unsatisfactory” in a post on Twitter.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said the party “fully supports” the Federation’s decision and claimed Ms Patel had “badly let down police officers, who have served our country so bravely throughout this pandemic.”

He added: “A zero percent pay offer is completely unacceptable – it is a real-terms pay cut, exposing the hypocrisy of a Conservative government that gives warm words of praise to the police and refuses to back it up with action.”

The Home Office said: “The Home Secretary has demonstrated her commitment time and time again to supporting the brave police officers who keep us safe, giving them the resources and powers they need to fight crime and protect the public.

“We are recruiting 20,000 extra officers, 8,771 already in place, increased taxpayer funding for policing by up to £600 million and gave forces £200 million to meet unforeseen costs of the pandemic.

“This is in addition to enhancing protection of the police, increasing sentencing for assaulting officers and investment in equipment.

“The economy has been significantly impacted by the pandemic, with pressures on public finances and we must protect jobs and ensure fairness.”

Staff working for the National Crime Agency are also facing the pay freeze.

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7 Comments for Police Federation has ‘no confidence’ in Home Secretary Priti Patel after ‘final straw’ pay freeze:

gary roberts
2021-07-23 20:19:02

"We are recruiting 20,000 extra officers" Is that before or after replacing the 20,000 officers cut since 2010? Extra officers? Absolute rubbish or as Dawn Butler MP just said, the Prime Minister is a liar. If before, then logic suggests extra is just another vacuous lie and, if after, that will take at least a decade to do: why? Well back in 2011 police officers were either being offered retirement, redundancy or the sack sadly. I know officers that took retirement and redundancy and then were asked if they wanted to reapply for their old jobs. So lets be clear the fire and rehire policy of this government was alive back then leaving the taxpayer with paying the bills of redundancy, retirement or sacking and then paying those same officers again when they rejoined. Could you make it up? No! Further the morale in public services like the police is at breaking point and a pay freeze just adds to it. Very sad.

2021-07-23 22:46:51

welcome to the real world, its not just the police that have worked thru the pandemic, plently of other jobs have worked thru it as well with no pay rise, low paid jobs wont see a real world increase in pay for another 4-5 years due to the tax threshold being frozen but i do agree they derserve something similar to what the nurses are being offered.

Andy lee
2021-07-24 15:09:40

What do people expect, like many who worked through the lockdowns in direct contact with members of the public I was under no illusion that a pay rise of any sort would be forthcoming, we are governed by a failing extreme right-wing government. We have been failed for the last 40 years by this idea that the average person is draining the economy of the country, ( has anyone heard a government say anything but we all have to tighten our belts) until people start to take a real interest in how the country is being governed and for who's interest instead of getting heated when they are effected we will continue to be told to tighten our belts for the greater good of the country while a few people continue living the life the majority will never attain regardless of how hard they tighten their belts.

David Forman
2021-07-24 16:17:35

Perhaps the Police Federation should grow a backbone and ballot their members for strike action or just grin and bear it?

David Forman
2021-07-24 16:31:33

Police have taken strike action before. The Lambeth Branch of the National Union of Police and Prison Officers declared in 1918 'Tyranny is not discipline.'. For more information see: https://www.oldpolicecellsmuseum.org.uk/content/history/police_history/police_strike_1918-1919

David Carter
2021-07-25 08:44:25

The Public have lost faith in the Police over the last decade Too many unsolved crimes and too many crimes not even considered worth their time. People join the police to serve and protect Unpunished small crimes lead to those committing them to go on to bigger things. If the Police could be trusted to really Police our country Then the public would endorse a rise which would be deserved

David Hughes
2021-07-25 19:20:01

You can all complain as much as you like, but let's be honest. Nothing will be done. All you lot are all doing sending your blood pressures up.

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