The Government’s announcement that the pay cap on police wages will be lifted has been criticised as a ‘cynical deception’ – that means nothing without proper funding.
With the pay rise expected to be taken from existing police budgets, our Police Commissioners are now being forced to make an impossible decision – pay their officers more but reduce staff levels to fund it; or save police jobs but stick to a cruel pay freeze already endured for seven years.
Leicestershire Police Commissioner Lord Willy Bach says the Government should be ashamed.
“This money is to come from the already absurdly reduced Leicestershire Police Budget. What will the inevitable consequence be? It will mean that in the years to come, more Police Officers' jobs will go in order that the Budget can be balanced, as it has to be by law.
“Meanwhile the Government pays no attention to the policing needs of a growing and diverse community. No-one should be fooled into applauding this as an act of generosity. “
Nottinghamshire Police Commissioner Paddy Tipping says being able to pay his officers more is welcomed – but warns without financial back up, the budget is unstainable.
“Any increase costs money and with the rise coming from the police budget this is yet another call on our scarce resources. In Nottinghamshire, we have worked incredibly hard to find the means to recruit 200 additional officers in 2017/18 and I don’t want to see that put at risk.”
In Derbyshire, Police Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa is campaigning for fairer funding – calling on members of the public to write to their MP to pressure the Home Secretary to properly finance a well-deserved pay increase for our police officers.
“We simply cannot sustain further cuts to our budget without this impacting on our ability to respond in an emergency to those most in need. The Government must recognise the risks to public safety of further under investment and take action to ensure Derbyshire and other forces across the country are fully resourced for the job they face.
“We’ve lost 378 police officers since 2010 and are demanding more and more from those officers and staff who remain in post.”
Mr Dhindsa says crime is not reducing – but changing. Human trafficking, modern day slavery, extremism, FGM, forced marriage, cybercrime and terrorism have all contributed to an increasing workload – and are being tackled with reduced budgets and a workforce fed up with austerity.
Concerned residents in Derbyshire are being urged to contact their MP and can download a template letter here.