Long-term strategy needed to recoup workforce pay losses, says NPCC

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) says a longer-term strategy is needed to address the real term pay decreases faced by officers over the past decade.

Feb 27, 2024
By Paul Jacques

In its evidence submitted to the Police Remuneration Review Body and the Senior Salaries Review Body for police officer pay for 2024/25, it is calling for an above inflation pay increase across all ranks and increasing the starting salary for constables.

Evidence submitted to the pay bodies recognises the higher-than-expected pay award of seven per cent received last year, however, this is on the back of a long-term decline in police pay, which means officers have still received a real term pay cut on average of over 16 per cent since 2010, says the NPCC.

“Policing remains an incredibly challenging and stressful occupation, with each police officer facing between 400 and 600 traumatic events during their career, compared with between three and four for most people during their lifetime,” it said.

“The pay premium which was designed to compensate officers for the unique nature of their work physically and psychologically has been eroded due to long-term below inflation pay rises.”

NPCC lead for pay and conditions, Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan, said: “Our officers deserve pay that reflects their challenging and unique roles, recognising their responsibility to run towards danger and the restrictions we place on them, which means they cannot strike or take on second jobs.

“The pay premium reflecting this has decreased substantially over the past decade, and our increasingly young workforce has meant many within policing are at the lowest pay ranks.

“Over the past three years, policing has recovered some of the reduction in officers caused by a decade of austerity, and we are now financially locked into maintaining these numbers.

“With increasing demand on policing and tight budgets, police forces face difficult decisions, with less money to put officers on the front line and recruit staff to carry out critical back-office roles.

“It is important that the recommendations to government reflect these financial challenges and are funded appropriately to support us in keeping the public safe.”

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