A body representing police officers in England and Wales says it has no confidence in Home Secretary Priti Patel as a row over their pay escalates.
It comes after the government said pay for officers with a salary in excess of £24,000 would be frozen this year. The Police Federation said it amounts to a real-terms cut and is an “insult”.
The Home Office responded by saying Ms Patel had demonstrated her commitment to police “time and time again” by giving them “the resources and powers they need to fight crime and protect the public.”
The Police Federation, which represents more than 130,000 police officers, has confirmed it will be withdrawing its support from the body that reviews police pay.
National chairman John Apter said members are angry with the government after working for 18 months on the front line of the pandemic, and seeing other public services receive pay increases – while they get nothing. He said the federation had tried its level-best to work with the government, but added:
“The Police Remuneration Review Body, which makes recommendations on officers’ pay, is not truly independent and has its hands tied by the government who continually interfere. They cannot be trusted or taken at face value in the way we would expect.”
The National Police Chiefs’ Council said the pay decision would make many officers feel “undervalued” and called on ministers to fund “meaningful and fair pay increases for 2022.”
Announcing the pay freeze on Wednesday, Ms Patel said:
“The pay freeze is to ensure fairness between public and private sector wage growth. The private sector has been significantly impacted by the Covid pandemic in the form of reduced hours, suppressed earnings growth and increased redundancies, whilst the public sector had been largely shielded from these effects overall”.