UK & World News
Police Starting Salaries Slashed By £4,000
The starting salary for police constables is to be slashed by £4,000 under a package of controversial reforms.
Home Secretary Theresa May said she was minded to press ahead with the radical overhaul proposed last year by civilian lawyer Tom Winsor.
The move will see the initial salary for constables fall to £19,000 and is bound to provoke further anger at the coalition among rank and file officers.
Rail regulator-turned-police watchdog Mr Winsor enraged tens of thousands of officers last year with his proposals, most of which have been accepted.
However, the Home Secretary said plans to bring in compulsory severance across all ranks will be held back for further negotiation.
In a written ministerial statement, Mrs May said the reforms were part of a programme to "modernise police pay and conditions so that they are fair to both officers and the taxpayer".
She said: "Existing police pay and conditions were designed more than 30 years ago which is why we asked Tom Winsor to carry out his independent review.
"Police officers and staff deserve to have pay and workforce arrangements that recognise the vital role they play in fighting crime and keeping the public safe, and enable them to deliver effectively for the public."
The Home Secretary added: "The Government's reform programme is working - crime is falling and public confidence is high."
Mrs May was responding to a series of recommendations made by the Police Arbitration Tribunal last year.
She also accepted plans to introduce a national on-call allowance of £15 for each daily on-call session for rank-and-file officers from April 2013.
Bonuses given to staff at the top of the pay scale who can show they have performed strongly are also to be phased out over the next three years.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said that under the reforms, chief constables will have the power to pay a starting salary of up to £22,000 depending on skills and qualifications.
Officers will also be able to reach the top rate of pay three years earlier than under the current arrangements.
Chief Constable Peter Fahy, the Acpo lead on workforce development, said: "Police service funding has already been considerably reduced and further financial pressure lies ahead.
"Chief constables must have the means available to them to manage their workforce through these difficult times, even if that means taking steps that are unwelcome."
But the Police Federation of England and Wales said the pay cut is "ill conceived and fails to reflect the dangers and demands inherent in the job".
MP Keith Vaz, who chairs the Home Affairs Select Committee, said morale in the police force is at "an all-time low"
He said: "This is the wrong time to cut the pay of ordinary police officers. If the Home Secretary wants her revolution in policing to be successful, she must carry the workforce with her."
The cut comes after Mr Winsor, who took up the role of Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary three months ago, said the current system should be overhauled.
In his report last year, he said it should be changed from the 1920s design that rewards years of service with a scheme that recognises merit.
He also called for the introduction of application criteria, demanding that recruits have the equivalent of three A-levels at grades A-C.
A fast track for exceptional candidates, allowing them to rise from civilian to inspector in three years and potentially by the time they turn 24, was another recommendation.
Mr Winsor's plans included higher pay for more demanding jobs and an allowance for working unsocial hours, defined as outside 8am to 6pm.
And it called for the pension age for officers to be raised to 60, in line with Lord Hutton's recommendations.
Tens of thousands of officers marched through central London in protest over the report last year, after which Mrs May was heckled and booed at the Police Federation's annual conference.
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what do you think?
The days of "private" police companies draw nearer...................
yes and they will be employed to protect the law makers the rest of vus will have to fend for ourselves
I remember the chants on the picket lines 70`s/80`s fighting mass redundancies "It is our turn today it will be your turn tomorrow"".As the police and corrupt courts helped Thatcher to smash the Trade Unions.Sorry no sympathy.
does this woman think that policemen and women do this job for love? Would you confront a drunken thug, perhaps carrying a weapon, for 19k a year? These people have to confront all sorts on OUR behalf and deserve to be well paid. We send billions of pounds in aid overseas and then treat our own people with total contempt. This makes me sick and angry.
Good they do nothing anyway to bothered about speeding and people with out a seat belt then catching real criminals
Would you say that to the 3 police officers families that were shot and killed last year?
The police are a joke to busy with speed guns and making money in fines
Well said John. You'll always get the police haters voting you down! Different when they need assistance eh?
Don't care about the negative votes, or the silly comments. Id not do the job for 19k. The police risk their lives at times, MPs sit on leather chairs and rob us hand over fist. I know who id give a payrise too. Nick you been a silly boy and forgot to put a seatbelt on while speeding have you?
Jonn, I'm a police officer. I love my job. Re Nick, speeding? My thoughts exactly LOL
The world would be a nastier place without you and people like Jasmin.
Thank you John
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I did not relise that their pay was so rubbish, I would`nt do that job for £19,000 p/a
Still more than the starting wage of those fighting in Afghanistan
Another step towards privatisation. Minimum entry requirements should be equivalent of 3 A Levels for a 19k salary?! "recruitment numbers are down we need private companies". After all, G4S did a superb job guarding the olympics.. Oh, no, hang on.......
That 4000 quid should be given to PCSOs as they are the only ones we see on the streets nowdays. The regulars are too busy on investigating Savile, Levesen and now face book thats not dangerous work.
Mrs May, how about you Modernise MP's pay and conditions? That would be fair eh? Oh, I forgot they want a pay rise!
How bright of the politicians, knock £4000 of the starting wages of the police about a week after saying they the MPs should get £20k a year more. You can bet it's not minimum wages.