Legal proceedings lodged in wake of Government’s failure to act on police pay

John Apter: chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales

John Apter: chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales

The Police Federation of England and Wales has stated that formal legal proceedings will now commence following the Government’s failure to act on police pay recommendations. The staff association for police officers in England and Wales has lodged an application for Judicial Review proceedings into the lawfulness of the Government’s decision to ignore the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) for the second consecutive year.

The announcement follows what the Federation refers to as the “derisory” pay ‘award’ announced in July which saw officers’ pay increase by an “insulting” £2.50 per week. In terms of the amount that officers receive in their pockets, that 2% amounts to a mere 0.85%*.

The Police Federation recommended a 3.4% increase such that officers could be paid fairly for the dangerous job they do after years of Government austerity. The PRRB recommended a total of 3%.

John Apter, chair of the Police Federation, said the decision to take action was an easy one as the organisation isn’t prepared to sit back while its membership suffers.

“We must have confidence in an independent pay review system and for that to be ignored by Government undermines the whole process,” urged Apter. “Our members do not have industrial rights so it’s important they know we will stand up for them and fight their corner. It’s a disgrace that, for the second year running, the Home Office has cheated police officers out of the pay increase they should receive. This year, officers are being awarded a derisory 2% increase, despite the recommendation of the PRRB – the independent body established by this Government to make evidence-based recommendations on police pay – that it should be 3%.”

Apter continued: “In response to this betrayal and based on legal advice, the Police Federation has instructed solicitors to formally proceed with a Judicial Review against the Home Secretary Sajid Javid on the basis that he has stated that the pay decision was a Government decision and not his decision alone. Now more than ever it’s imperative that police pay is adequate and fair, acknowledging the incredibly demanding job officers do. It’s unacceptable to see officers struggling to make ends meet while working all the hours under the sun to keep the public safe because there simply aren’t enough officers to meet the increasing demand.”

Emboldening the Police Federation’s message, Apter went on to state: “Police officers must be treated fairly and have confidence that any independent pay recommendations will be accepted in full by the Home Secretary. I know the deep sense of anger felt by many of our members about the way they have been treated. This is why we have taken this action and make no apology for doing so. Doing nothing was simply not an option. It’s both right and proper that we legally challenge this unfairness.”

*The 0.85% figure is derived from the fact that, of last year’s 2%, only 1% was consolidated. That 1% has now been removed by the Government for this year’s pay award, so taking into account pension contributions, then the actual uplift is worth approximately 0.85% to police constables

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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