No more smoke and mirrors

Police on Parade 2007 - by Chris Eason via Flickr
This article was originally published on this website

22 September 2017

Vice-Chair

An open letter demanding answers from Government on the derisory pay award for police officers has been published by those representing rank and file officers from across the country.

Representatives from all 43 Police Federations in the country endorsed the letter, saying that “members were angry” and forces “had been put in an impossible situation.”

“We feel the government has not been truthful and honest about the pay award given to officers, and that is insulting. The two percent awarded has to come from existing policing budgets which means forces may have to choose between officer numbers and public safety. That cannot be right,” said Calum Macleod, vice-chair, a view echoed around the country.

You can read the full letter below:

An open letter to Government, on behalf of the 43 Federations of England and Wales

22 September, 2017

Dear Prime Minister

On behalf of the hard working officers who are working to the bone to protect our people, who fight to protect our communities and who keep you safe, we demand answers.

And we demand that you tell the public the truth. About crime figures. About police numbers. About the ‘extra’ officers you pledge. About ‘extra’ money you say you will pay.

No more smoke. No more mirrors. No more double standards.

You expect officers to run towards terrorists one minute and then turn your backs when we ask for help so they can afford to feed their families. Families they barely see because of the hours they work to fill the void left by the thousands of officers who are no longer there because of your cuts.

Officers who are now broken. Who are unable to cope with the mental and physical demands placed upon them by having to work in depleted environments. With out of date kit .With fewer people. With no support. One chief constable has just this week told you that 40% of his officers have sought professional help for stress. It is the tip of the iceberg.

Our officers are committed to serving the public. And we thank the public for their overwhelming support, particularly in light of recent incidents. But with 20,000 fewer police officers than five years ago it is no wonder we have seen crime rise and the service to the public suffer. This is not fair on them.

And two per cent pay rise with no extra money to pay for it means it is the public who will yet again suffer and get even less of a service.
So hear us when we say:

  •  The pay award of on average less than £10 a week is insulting.
  •  A two per cent rise is not a rise when it has to come from existing policing budgets.
  •  It’s a disgrace you have dressed it up as a pay rise.
  •  Funding must come centrally; it is unfair to make the public suffer with fewer officers available to fight crime.
  •  It’s a disgrace you have ignored the recommendations from the independent Police Remuneration Review Body – the very body you set up to advise on police pay.
  •  Forces cannot cope with any further falls in police numbers.
  •  Communities will be further under threat at the very time protection is needed the most. Community policing plays a vital part in intelligence gathering to help combat terrorism and it has been decimated.
  • ‘Extra’ police officers are not ‘extra’ police officers. They are the same officers doing longer hours, being called back in when they are off or being given extra responsibilities.
  • Crime is not falling.

And answer our questions:

  •  Why was the independent body which has awarded MPs and ministers a 13% rise over the last three years listened to when the independent police body on pay was not?
  •  How can you justify these double standards?
  •  Do you think it is acceptable that the derisory pay award is expected to come at a cost of losing more officers?

Our members have been failed by:

  •  The FAILURE to heed our warnings.
  •  The FAILURE to implement the very recommendations of the independent bodies you introduced.
  •  The FAILURE to support them and the police service as a whole.
  •  The FAILURE to help officers protect the country.
  •  The FAILURE to help officers protect the public adequately.

We don’t want meaningless platitudes.

We want a properly funded and well-resourced police service. The public rightly want and expect this.

For the sake of those who put their lives on the line for the public we demand you address these injustices and give us answers.

Members of the interim National Council

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