Well, next week we will see what the Winsor report has to say and recommend regarding police pay and conditions. We can have a good guess as to what might be coming after Theresa May this week announced that the police must expect cuts in pay.
It has already been announced that there will be a freeze on pay for the next two years. The cuts will almost certainly come in the form of cuts in overtime and allowances and an increase in pension contributions. It has been leaked that there will be a recommendation for an increase in pension contributions from 11% t 14%. The press are forever slating the public sector and particularly the police for their pensions. No mention that we pay through the nose for it. Currently 11%, I don't know of any other organisation that pays anything like that.
It also seems likely that allowances such as housing allowance, South East and Met allowance and Special Priority Payments will be cut or abolished. I won't explain all of these but suffice to say if they are abolished and pension contributions are increased officers could lose up to £6000 a year.
Finally, it seems likely that overtime payments will be cut. Forget what you have heard in the tabloid press. General overtime is paid at time and a third, cancelled rest days less than 15 days are paid at time and a half and cancelled rest days and bank holidays are paid at double time. For the inconvenience to officers private lives this is fair. Too much overtime is paid because of managers lack of planning. If officers private lives can be mucked around with almost no penalty to the organisation then poor planning will be encouraged and officers private lives put in even more turmoil. This will have devastating effects on morale and productivity.
I don't expect any sympathy with regard to this subject. I would merely like to state (as have other police bloggers) that the risks around this are that we will go back to the 1970's, pre the Edmund Davies review of police pay and conditions. Like MP's jobs, there will always be candidates for the role of constable, but the quality will be very poor as it was in the 70's. The consequences partly led to the riots of the early 80's. And when the next lot of protests regarding student loans and cuts takes place, don't be surprised if there is a shortage of police. When officers get a phone call at home and are expected to drop everything and go to work with no recompense, they won't answer the phone or will say sorry, been drinking cannot help.
It should also be remembered that the police by law cannot take industrial action and to incite it is a criminal offence. The police deserve to be treated with respect and rewarded for this restriction on their working conditions. It appears that the Government, having only recently suggested they would give us the right to take industrial action, have decided that they will continue to withhold that right but have no regard to it when considering pay and conditions. I wonder what would happen if every firearms officer who voluntarily holds a weapon protecting Prime Ministers, Home Secretary's and Royalty, handed in their weapons and left them to it?
The opinions and views expressed here are mine, and mine alone. They do not necessarily reflect the policies and views of the Utopian Police Force nor the City of Utopia.
The stories I tell here are all true but my purpose is not technical accuracy. My purpose is to illustrate the nature of policing in an educational and entertaining way.
I have tried to respect the privacy of the citizens of the city and to relate specific facts without identifying individuals. I believe I succeed in this but if you do recognize yourself and believe others will too, please contact me and I shall rectify it.