Representatives of Lincolnshire Police say a ‘derisory’ pay offer of two per cent could mean officer numbers having to be reduced in the future.
An open letter demanding answers from Government on the pay award for police officers has been published by those representing rank and file officers from across the country.
Jon Hassall, chair of Lincolnshire Police Federation, said: “Our members are angry and forces have been put in an impossible situation. We feel the government has not been truthful and honest about the pay award given to officers, and that is insulting.
“The two percent awarded has to come from existing policing budgets which means forces may have to choose between officer numbers and public safety. That cannot be right.”
“Although I’m reassured from a conversation with the PCC, Marc Jones, that there will be no reduction in officer or staff numbers over the coming 12 to 18 months, I feel the prospects beyond that are bleak.”
“Police officers serve the public, but also are the public. Many Lincolnshire officers have called to give up the one per cent “bonus” element of this year’s pay award to protect the service they are proud to be a part of, yet at the same time many also need a substantial pay rise because of the effects of successive pay freezes and below inflation pay rises. Even that one per cent will make a substantial difference to those officers at the beginning of their careers.”
The open letter outlines failures of the Government and demands answers on a range of issues, asking for the truth about crime figures, police numbers and claims of ‘extra’ officers.
The letter says crime is not falling, it’s on the up and cybercrime has exploded. It says officers are working longer hours, being called back in when they are off or being given extra responsibilities.
Mr Hassall added: “The public have been fantastic at giving us support but they deserve better. Officers give all to become police officers but they are broken; unable to cope with the mental and physical demands placed upon them by having to work in depleted environments. This cannot be right or fair on anyone – let alone the public.”
The Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police Bill Skelly has also said that law enforcement would be “acutely” affected if pay rises were taken from existing budgets.