Cost-of-living crisis forcing some officers to take on second jobs, says PFNI

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) is calling for “urgent intervention” by the Government after highlighting the full extent of the cost-of-living crisis facing officers in a special edition its ‘Police Beat’ magazine.

Jan 13, 2023
By Paul Jacques
PFNI chair Liam Kelly

PFNI chair Liam Kelly said it makes for “very uncomfortable reading”, with some officers taking on second jobs to feed their families.

The magazine highlights how officers are struggling in the face of soaring food inflation and low pay levels. In the first five to six years of service, this is further exacerbated by the failure to implement a pay award last September, says the PFNI.

Mr Kelly said: “We have officers who don’t know where to turn to next. They’re doing all they can to keep their heads above water, but some are saying ‘enough is enough’ and handing in their warrant cards.

“We are in a crisis and the longer it goes on, the worse it will get. Our special edition of ‘Police Beat’ hears from officers themselves and their daily struggles to balance their budgets. They are telling it as it is, and it makes for very uncomfortable reading.

“We intend to share their stories with as many people as possible who can bring influence to bear. We are still waiting for our pay award, which will bring some slight relief but will be wholly inadequate in the current harsh economic climate.

“There is also the failure to implement incremental increases where years of service entitle officers to uplifts. Add to that is the fact that basic pay for officers in the first few years of service is wholly unrealistic and in need of urgent review.”

He added: “Policing in Northern Ireland is in a bad place. Officers are leaving the job for other, better paid occupations. Some are taking on second jobs to feed their families and that isn’t good for them or the service.

“They are being expected to do more with less and it’s taking a heavy toll on them, which is why so many are experiencing stress and anxiety. The workplace pressures are inexorable.

“This situation simply cannot continue and I would appeal to the Government to recognise what’s happening and take steps to fix what’s broken.”

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