Police Federation accuses Government of 'contempt' for officers

The chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) is to deliver a letter to Downing Street setting out officers’ anger over a pay freeze and objections to the Government’s Beating Crime Plan.

Jul 26, 2021
By Website Editor
John Apter

John Apter will take the letter to Number 10 on Tuesday (July 27) as further details of the crime-fighting strategy are revealed.

The PFEW passed a motion of no confidence in Home Secretary Priti Patel last week in a row over pay.

Officers who earn more than £24,000 are subject to a pay freeze this year, compared with NHS staff who will receive three per cent and firefighters and local government workers who will receive 1.5 per cent.

As a result the federation has walked away from the Police Remuneration Review Body, which was set up to advise the Government on pay.

The letter will say: “This is about much more than money, though for many the offer of a zero per cent pay rise, after all the police has been through in helping deal with the pandemic, was the final straw. It is about the risks you asked us to take – which we did, because it is our duty – without proper PPE (personal protective equipment).

“It is about the endlessly changing and confusing Covid legislation which we were expected to police – which we did, because it is our duty. It is about your mixed messaging and lack of understanding of our role, which combined to put many of our members in invidious positions which led to them being abused and attacked.

“It is about the failure, despite the promises of the Home Secretary, to take seriously our request that police officers should be given early priority for vaccination.

“It is about the very strong feeling we have, not least when the Prime Minister and Home Secretary spoke at our annual conference, that the warm words flow easily, but the actions that show genuine support for the police do not.”

The letter will also set out how members only found out about the Beating Crime Plan – which includes proposals for victims of crime to have a named officer to contact – in the press at the weekend.

It will continue: “Just this weekend, we found out through a Sunday newspaper column about a new so-called Beating Crime Plan.

“We don’t need old ideas presented as new, we need genuine investment for the whole of the criminal justice system and genuine consultation over new ideas. Without that, this is just another ill-thought out initiative.

“Police officers are sick of gimmicks. Sick of underfunding. Sick of mixed messaging putting police at risk. Sick of government contempt for police. It’s time for a total reset of police-government relations.”

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