Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe has voiced his support for calls for a pay raise for all police officers, funded centrally by the Treasury.
It follows a decision by the Government to follow the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Pay Body, freezing police officer pay for all but those officers with salaries of less than £24,000 in 2021/22.
A letter urging a rethink of that decision and asking for central funding for a pay increase has been sent to the Home Secretary on behalf of PCCs, including Mr Seccombe, by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.
Mr Seccombe said: “Here in Warwickshire and across the country police officers have tirelessly continued to keep people safe and protect them from harm throughout the pandemic. They have been an ever-present on the streets, despite the additional personal risks that Covid-19 has brought.
“Behind the scenes, police staff too have made a huge contribution, ensuring that our call centres and control rooms continue to function and that frontline policing has the services and support it needs to continue to protect the public. They have done this magnificently, overcoming the many challenges this national emergency has provoked.
“In these circumstances, I believe a pay increase would be warranted and would receive support from the public, provided that such an increase was properly funded and not left to local Council Tax payers to pick up the tab.
“A pay increase for police officers and indeed police staff would do much to boost morale in the workforce, however, it is not something that could be funded from existing force finances. For example, across the remainder of this financial year, a one percent increase on pay would require around £500,000 to be found from existing budgets and this would have an inevitable impact on services to the public.
“Therefore, I am echoing the calls by other police and crime commissioners across the country asking the Government to think again and find funding from the Treasury for an increased pay award in 2021/22.
“While undoubtedly the current challenges posed by the pandemic on public sector finances are heavy, policing has already made a huge contribution to improving the national balance sheet over the last decade, including many years of pay restraint for officers and staff.
“Across policing we continue to find more efficient and cost-effective ways of working and here in Warwickshire I have been insistent on a setting a balanced budget to ensure we spend only within our means.
“I think it is now time for the Government to recognise the outstanding circumstances which have led to this request and I hope they engage constructively with police and crime commissioners to make this a reality.”