Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe has welcomed the government’s decision to accept the recommendations of an independent pay review body for police officers, saying it will help promote policing as an attractive career choice.
The Home Office has announced that, from 1 September, police officers of all ranks in England and Wales will receive a consolidated award of £1,900, with those on the lowest pay point receiving a greater increase in percentage terms than those at higher pay grades.
The Police Constable Degree Apprentice minimum starting salary will also be raised to £23,556 from 1 September.
Last year, Mr Seccombe was among Police and Crime Commissioners nationally to write to the Home Secretary arguing the case for an increase in police officer pay but making it clear that for this to be affordable to forces, a funding contribution from the government was required.
This became particularly important for this year’s pay award announcement, given the cost of living pressures that all officers are facing, particularly those at the junior ranks, as well as the inflationary pressures that all police budgets are encountering.
This week’s announcement that the Home Office had accepted the Police Remuneration Review Body’s recommendations in full also came with confirmation that central funding would be provided to forces.
An additional £350 million over the next three years will be delivered to forces across the country to help cover the associated costs of the pay award. This is expected to account for around half of the additional increase and goes beyond what had been anticipated from last autumn’s spending review.
Commenting on the award, Mr Seccombe said: “I’m pleased that the government has listened to what we as police and crime commissioners have said is a challenging funding environment, recognising that local policing budgets would not on their own be able to sustain a pay increase on this scale without additional finances.
“The pay award also rightly recognises some of the challenges that police officers are facing, especially those who are junior in service, with the rising costs of living having an impact on their household budgets. We rely on our police officers to keep our communities safe and they do an outstanding job of protecting us from harm, so it is right that their pay should reflect this.
“By ensuring that those who are starting their careers in policing receive the greatest proportional increase, I hope these changes will help to further reinforce policing as a career which is rewarding in every sense. The pay increase can only serve to help us to recruit and importantly retain police officers in the years ahead, enabling Warwickshire Police to meet the target of achieving a record 1,100 police officers by 2023.”