News, Teesside

Cops are prepared to reject pay rise to protect the public and policing numbers

Police Officers across the country are preparing to reject their pay rise unless the government is going to increase the policing budgets.

At the moment cops on the ground fear that the rise put further strains and stress on their operational roles, therefore placing a massive impact on public safety, officer numbers and recruitment into 2018.

Police Hour wrote about the current situation officers are facing and the strains o Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners to re-adjust the budgets to pay for the promised rise from the Conservative Government that must come from your forces crime fighting or recruitment budgets.  

Cops reject the 1% pay rise

Hundreds of Police Officers have now privately contact Police Hour to say they’ll be looking to reject that pay rise if it puts the public at risk with increased officer demand and reduced recruitment.

Cops simply don’t want the pay rise if it means the public will be put at an increased risk, In reality, we want to be able to pay police officers more money to do so policing budgets need to be reviewed and increased we need to ensure policing budgets are correct to ensure this can be achieved.

One Cop told Police Hour “Simply i cannot accept the pay rise if that means there is going to be less cops to do the job, things are already getting stressful there is already less cops on the ground and the work load has never been higher”

“Accepting the 1% Bonus will ensure that this problem will only get worse, undoing all the hard work our senior officers have been doing to try and make things better”.

Terry Wilson Told Police Hour “There should be more Police Officers on better pay, the government are failing in their responsibility to provide a safe controlled environment”

and Natalie Warriner said “The crazy woman 1% is useless. All it will do is increase financial pressure on Police Authorities to meet pay claims that their government grants do not allow for. Reality check is that even fewer officers will be doing the work of many – ridiculous.”

Lifting the pay cap

The conservative government has now lifted the 1% cap on police pay and offered a one off 1% bonus. No further money will be given to the police forces and this money must be found within their own existing budgets. Putting policing within 2017 on a dangerous path.

The great news for those police officer’s who have worked under immense pressure with fewer officers and increased demand who have who has suffered a 1% Pay Cap for many years while doing one of the most challenging jobs and putting their lifes on the line daily with little reward.

The conservative government knew that when announcing the pay cap would be lifted it would always remain a politically motivated headline grabbing move and that would put forces across the country at risk.

Sticking a sticky plaster over policing

A move that would get officers on side and attempt to increase morale, but we firmly believe that this government is simply placing a plaster over the main issue of policing.

The issue is that there is simply not enough cops for the demand placed upon our officers, there is fewer cops for the job and no sign of increasing officer numbers recruitment is simply replacing a small number of officers who’s service has ended. Officers work load is increased and there is less staff and back office staff to support this effectively ensuring there is fewer resources.

The Great news that officers will see 2% extra in their pay packet, however, once the novelty of the extra cash quickly fades the issues that we have fewer cops, increased demand and higher demand on our cops with fewer officers and fewer resources to carry out the role the news of that 2% rise will quickly fade and be replaced with the news once again of underfunded policing budgets.

Forces Budgets!

But simply there is no money in the force’s budgets to fund the 1% rise no further money will be provided and for for smaller forces such as Cleveland Police could cost them £500K much bigger forces will run into the multi million mark.

We are simply Robbing Peter to Pay Paul at the cost of public protection, The pay rise and bonus could result in fewer officers being recruited, and fewer police support staff.

DR Alan Billings Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire Police expressed his concerns that money must be found from existing budgets which will have an impact on policing.  “The government’s announcement that police officers are to receive a pay rise of 1% plus a ‘bonus’ of 1% has two stings in the tail.

“First, the pay rises are wiped out by the increase in the cost of living that was announced on the same day.

“Second, no new money is being given to cover the cost; therefore Police and Crime Commissioners will have to find the money from within existing budgets. That means the reserves will have to be used. This is a potentially dangerous path since reserves are kept for a reason.

“In South Yorkshire’s case they are there in part to cover costs that arise from both the Hillsborough disaster and child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. Considerable sums of money are involved and the reserves are there in part to pay for the m.”

We all want more money but at what cost?

We all want to see pay increases year on year, cops have suffered a pay cap for many years and it’s fantastic news that the cap has now been lifted, but the government are forcing further 1% to each Cop from each individual forces budget and that will be at a cost to me and you.

There is a number of ways the extra 1% could be funded and that decision will now fall on your local Police and Crime Commissioner who could choose to increase council tax to foot the bill or take a 1% hit to their budgets putting crime and policing at risk.

That 1% will mean there is less funding to reduce crime within your area, there will be less money and increased policing demand. We’d imagine there will be recruitment freezes to pay for the additional 1% or fewer officers recruited to ensure police funding and budgets are protected.

The Chief Constable for Cleveland Police Iain Spittal said: “When I met with the Policing and Fire Minister recently I stressed the point that police officers (and staff) have experienced real term reductions in their salaries over the past seven years and that I wanted to be able to pay them more for the very important role that they undertake. Police officers do a very difficult role and provide a huge contribution within local communities.

“However I also stressed that any increases beyond the budgeted 1 percent increases needed to come with additional money.

“On average, police officer pay makes up over 50 per cent of total force budgets. I will now be working with senior colleagues to establish how this additional cost is met.”

Rethink Police Funding Cuts

Policing budgets need to be funded centrally, Offering officers the increased pay is simply cutting the forces policing budgets and your community will further suffer as a result.

Funding will have to come from your crime budget which will impact policing within your area.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has criticised the Government for
effectively cutting the police budget to fund a one off bonus to officers.

Mr Coppinger believes police officers and staff should have been awarded a centrally
funded pay rise that better reflected the “incredible” job of work they do.

The Government announced yesterday they are to fund a 1% pay rise for police officers
with a further one-off bonus payment equivalent to another 1% to come from existing
police budgets.

Mr Coppinger said: “It appears the Government is not providing the funding for this
one-off bonus, which in Cleveland is likely to mean a half million pound cut to our
available budget over the next year.

“Instead of robbing Peter to pay Paul, the Government should recognise the incredible
job that police officers and police staff do and fund a realistic pay rise.”

Mr Coppinger is writing to Prime Minister Theresa May urging her to reconsider what is in effect a cut to police budgets.

“Despite losing over 400 officer posts and over £30m funding in recent years, Cleveland
Police has made tremendous progress which has been recognised by Her Majesty’s
Inspectorate of Constabulary. This includes a financial plan to stabilise officer numbers
and ensure the most vulnerable in society are protected” said Mr Coppinger.

“For the Government to now grab a further £500,000 from our budget is a slap in the face
to hard working officers and staff and the public of Cleveland.

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