PCC Hardyal Dhindsa today welcomed reports that the 1% public sector pay cap is expected to be lifted for the first time since 2010 for police officers. However, he warned that that job losses will be on the cards if there is no extra funding from the government to cover any increase.
Speaking earlier today (11 Sep 2017) the Commissioner said: "This move is long over-due. In reality, these people, who daily face unimaginable challenges and are willing to put their lives on the line to keep us safe, have suffered pay cuts year on year when you take inflationary pressures into account. That is just not acceptable.
"But any increase, however well-deserved, will cost money and frankly the cupboard is bare. At a time when we are desperately trying to sustain police numbers the additional pressure on our budget from an extra, 2, 3 or 4 per cent pay increase would be calamitous to that ambition. I will be writing to the Home Secretary today to lay out the facts.
"In Derbyshire, for example, a 2 per cent pay award to officers, given every year, would cost us an additional £4.4m by 2020/21, a 3 per cent increase would cost us an additional £8.9m by 2020/21. Using the few reserves we have not already earmarked to pay for something else would be a short-lived resolution. Once it's gone it's gone and reducing our levels of reserves further than we have planned would inevitably place future service levels at risk.
"Estimates show that the government's police grant would have to rise by 5 per cent to cover a 2 per cent per annum pay award, or 10 per cent for a 3 per cent per annum pay award, just to stand still. At a time when the pressure on all police personnel and services is really showing, any additional financial burden could have serious consequences for policing in Derbyshire.
"Today's news focuses on police officers, but we must not forget police staff. They have been under the same restraints, so it is only right that their pay cap is also lifted. But that too will cost money that we haven't got."
"So, in summary, yes, I wholeheartedly support the lifting of the pay cap. It is the right thing to do. But the government must support this financially otherwise it will be an own goal."