2017 is the time we must stop and consider reforming police pay. Political representation of police pay reforms should be a vital issue for Theresa May and her government within 2017
It has been announced that new starters joining the police could now face a 20% cut £19,773 meaning new officers will have just £35 disposable income after living costs per month, No wonder officers are being handed food vouchers by policing charities with the further cuts the issues are only going to get worse and deeper.
The first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher discovered the harsh reality of policing when she achieved election in 1979, her reforms were radical and she quickly learnt that she needed the police on her side. She was an unpopular prime minister and she needed the support of the police.
As Prime Minters goes she was very unpopular with the youth and they caused her government and the police some headaches, they rebelled and caused riots up and down the country. Thatcher needed the support of the police.
Thatcher discovered by the help of the Edmund-Davies Review that police officers were poor, they could not afford to buy their homes or put food on the tables for their loved ones. The police faced problems with new officers wanting to join the job and those that did join quickly left. Simply they were not on her side.
Police forces struggled with the recruitment of new officers no one wanted to join and those that did quickly left the job, Thatcher didn’t have the support of police officers. Simply they were not on her side.
Edmund-Davis found that the reason for this was the low pay for the officers who risked life and limb to protect the queen, government and country. The job was dangerous.
The money an officer in 1970s Britain was offered was lacking to comparable occupations and Edmund-Davies began an inquiry appointed by the Labour government into the police pay and conditions just ahead of a conservative government being appointed.
July 1978 The Edmund-Davies review concluded that police officers such receive a substantial pay increase of 45 per cent. up until that point police pay had been poor, they were not rewarded enough for the dangerous job they are doing.
David Cameron wanted to ensure the government cut back and contained the spending on policing, he wanted to change the way the police and the government held negotiations regarding police pay reviews, He appointed a new review ‘The Winsor Review’ who reformed policing which effectively replaced the Edmund-Davies Review.
The Winsor review changed pay scales of new recruits and ensured police spending cuts, and officer numbers reduced. Fast forward to now 2017. We have gone the full circle as we are back in a state whereby Police Officers are struggling.
More and more officers are now approaching their force welfare fund, which is a charity set up to support police officers who are on rock bottom. They cannot afford to pay household bills or buy the basics such as food.
In 2017 there is a national disgrace that our officers are not being rewarded for the hard working challenging job that they are doing day in and day out. Some are simply leaving because comparable jobs are offering more money and a more comfortable life for them and their family.
The simple and most shocking fact here is that ‘Police officers within the UK are so desperate for help because their pay and conditions mean they cannot put food on the table for their families, they are struggling to keep a roof over their head’.
Police Officers are unable to afford the luxury of owning their own home or even heating it during the winter. We are back to how it was in the 1970s, which can be linked directly to The Winsor review, which brought in the police pay cap.
New officers see their starting rate at just £19K. Police Community Support Officers and Police Staff are becoming officers and in the process of transferring over have to take a considerable pay cut to become a front line officer.
While all of this is happening the cost of living is rising and police pay is staying the same. You’d think police officers were rich and that is a general perception but sadly this is not true.
We’d also assume that it is only the new officers joining who are struggling to make ends meet. It is in fact across the scale and the more experienced officers who are being stationed further away from home sometimes many miles means officers have to pay the petrol instead of providing food for the table.
Other changes in circumstances that we’ll not go into are also causing officers to struggle. This is a national policing crisis and something does need to be done. Officers who serve and protect us, who keep us safe at night simply are not getting paid enough for the dangerous job they are doing.
As we enter two years of political uncertainty and head for Brexit Theresa May just like Thatcher in the 1970s will need her officers on her side.
Welcome back to the 1970s as we prepare to elect Theresa May as the next conservative Prime Minster, with the hope that policing pay is reformed and our officers don’t have to rely on the police welfare funds to provide a meal for their family.