PFEW calls for minimum 17% pay rise for members

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has called for a 17 per cent pay increase for police officers after an independent study by a leading non-partisan think tank showed a landslide decline in police pay since 2000.

The independent research by Social Market Foundation (SMF) revealed real terms police pay has fallen almost 20 per cent behind inflation between 2000 and 2022.

This makes the police an outlier among protective services workers; public sector workers; and all workers. The report found all these groups saw their pay rise in real terms over this period – by 1 per cent, 14 per cent, and 5 per cent respectively.

Unsurprisingly, in these 22 years, the salaries of MPs rose from £48,371 to £84,144 and that of other public sector workers went up by between 1 and 14 per cent in real terms.

The independent report, released in the public domain today, exposes the decline in police pay, likely to be linked to the restrictions on police officers’ right to strike, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage to all other workers including other emergency service workers.

The SMF report also demonstrated police constable starting salaries have lagged behind earnings as a whole across the economy by a considerable amount.

SMF’s study has calculated that if these real-terms trends continued over the next five years, police pay would drop a further 4 per cent in real-terms by 2027, in stark comparison to private and public sector worker pay which is set to rise over the same period.

A key factor in discussions of police pay is the “P-factor”, which the SMF research suggests should be a figure offered in addition to their findings. The report references the P-factor as an element of police pay that reflects the unique obligations and responsibilities police officers’ experience relative to other comparable roles. This includes their unique risk of exposure to physical and psychological harm, alongside the restrictions that are placed upon their private lives.

The P-factor payment does not feature in the report highlighting that the actual figure of degradation of police pay is significantly higher. 

Mark Jones, North Wales Police Federation General Secretary said: “We have repeatedly highlighted just how badly police pay has fallen, in real terms, over the last decade. This independent research confirms this stark reality. Day in, day out, police officers make personal sacrifices in order to protect and police the communities we live, work and visit.

“The Government now need to rebuild the trust and confidence of police officers, in them, by meeting the Police Federation’s demands for a 17 per cent pay rise.

“This is not borne out of greed but is a necessity for police officers to be able to continue to feed their families, keep the heating on at home and be appropriately remunerated for the risks they face and the immense restrictions placed upon them by virtue of the office they hold. Anything less than what we are calling for would be the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for police officers who are burnt out, broken; not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel”.

Top points of SMF’s research:

Police Officer’s pay in the UK has declined by 17 per cent in real terms since 2000.

Police pay has risen at barely half the rate of an average UK employee across the same period.

Police pay is an outlier amongst other protective services workers and the public sector, likely being negatively impacted due to police officer’s inability to strike or have access to any form of industrial rights.

Police pay fell by 17 per cent in real terms between 2000 ans 2022, while other comparator groups of protective services workers and public sector workers saw their pay rise by 1-14 pe3r cent.