Federation’s manifesto calls for fair pay and financial security for ‘beleaguered’ officers

Promises of extra ‘bobbies on the beat’ in the political parties’ manifestos will not be enough to fix the recruitment and retention crisis policing is currently enduring, says the West Yorkshire Police Federation.

Jun 13, 2024
By Paul Jacques
Craig Nicholls

“Beleaguered bobbies” in England and Wales need fair pay, financial security when they retire, and improved mental health support, according to its Manifesto for Policing published on Thursday (June 13).

The Federation has called on whoever comes to power after July 4 to better protect the rights and welfare of the country’s police officers.

In its manifesto launch in Westminster, the body’s chair Craig Nicholls said for too long politicians of all parties had enjoyed open season on attacking policing and police officers.

Mr Nicholls was one of the officers who rugby-tackled MP Jo Cox’s killer moments after she was fatally attacked, and was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his courage.

He said: “Whoever takes over after July the 4 has got to understand that policing has got to be one of their top priorities. Those people who are in power are supposed to look after us as we look after them – and the public they represent.

“First on the list should be the restoration of our pay and our conditions but there is much more in our manifesto that needs to be run with – by whoever comes into power.

“Police officers across the county have had enough. Morale is at rock bottom. We are losing far too many good and experienced officers as they don’t want to take the dangers and risks associated with our job without the right reward and recognition.

“Cops are using food banks. How has it come to this?

“We need politicians to step up and look after our beleaguered bobbies. Make policing the priority it should be.”

The Federation has outlined the following ten key priorities for policing in its manifesto:

  1. Fair and Competitive Pay – Politicians of all parties need to ensure that police officers receive a fair and competitive salary that reflects the importance and risks associated with their role. The Home Office needs to regularly review and adjust pay scales to attract and retain the best talent in the police force.
  2. Enhanced Pension Benefits – Politicians of all parties need to recognise the dedication and sacrifice of police officers and work towards enhancing their pension benefits. Hard working and brave police officers should be able retire with financial security and peace of mind after years of service.
  3. Mental Health Support – We call on all parties to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of police officers by making sure forces and a future government provide comprehensive mental health support services. This includes access to counselling, therapy, and resources to address the unique challenges faced by police officers.
  4. Physical Health and Fitness – We want to see investment in the health and fitness of police officers by allowing us to access state-of-the-art training facilities, equipment, and programmes. Regular health check-ups and fitness assessments should be conducted to ensure officers are physically fit to perform their duties effectively.
  5. Work-Life Balance – We call on all parties to play their part in promoting a healthy work-life balance for police officers, recognising the demanding nature of their job. We want to see policies that allow for flexible working hours, adequate rest periods, and time off to spend with family and loved ones.
  6. Professional Development – We call on all parties to hold police forces to account and to ensure they prioritise the professional development of police officers by providing opportunities for continuous learning and career advancement. We want to see investment in training programmes, workshops, and educational resources to enhance police officer skills and knowledge.
  7. Supportive Leadership – We call on all parties to do what they can to foster a culture of supportive leadership within the police force. We want to see open communication, transparency, and accountability at all levels. Police officers should have access to mentors and guidance to help them navigate their careers and address any concerns.
  8. Community Engagement – We call on all parties to promote community engagement and collaboration between police officers and the communities they serve. We would encourage regular dialogue, community outreach programs, and initiatives that build trust and mutual respect.
  9. Safety and Equipment – We call on all parties to ensure that police officers have access to the necessary safety equipment and technology to effectively carry out their duties. We will regularly assess and update equipment to meet the evolving challenges of policing.
  10. Recognition and Appreciation – We call on all parties to recognise and appreciate the hard work, dedication, and sacrifices of police officers. We want to see more awards ceremonies and recognition programmes to honour exceptional service and provide opportunities for public appreciation.

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