Police pay to start £4,000 lower, at £19,000


Ex police minister Nick Herbert said it meant new officers would be paid for their skills, rather than their length of service

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The starting salary for police constables in England and Wales is being cut by £4,000 to £19,000, the home secretary has confirmed.

Theresa May has accepted recommendations on reform made by the Police Arbitration Tribunal.

It follows proposals put forward last year in a review for an overhaul of police pay, conditions and allowances.

The Police Federation said it was "disappointed" by the announcement.

The Scottish Ministry of Justice tweeted: "Home Office cuts to police starting salaries will not be imposed in Scotland."

Ex-rail regulator Tom Winsor, the review's author, was appointed last year as the Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales, the first non-policeman named to the post.

He recommended £1bn could be cut from police pay.

Mrs May has deferred plans to allow forces to make officers redundant to allow for further negotiation.

A special bonus - known as a competence-related threshold payment (CRTP) - will also be phased out over the next three years.

The CRTP - which is worth £1,200 a year - was first mooted for scrapping by the Winsor report in 2011.

The BBC's home affairs correspondent Tom Symonds said the starting salary would be £19,000 for recruits with no policing experience but £22,000 for more experienced officers, such as those who had worked as special constables or PCSOs.

Tom Winsor's review of police pay concluded there should be a lower starting salary for some new officers. So while there has been a £4,000 cut for recruits with no experience, such as those coming straight from school at 18, older recruits with relevant experience, such as a period as a special constable, will start to earn £22,000 a year.

But the deal also means that many constables will have the opportunity to move to the top of the pay scale more quickly, currently around £36,000.

Tom Winsor's review aimed to ensure police officers would be paid for their skills, rather than time served.

Proposals to allow chiefs to make constables redundant remain under discussion. Supporters say it would help them get rid of dead wood. Critics say it would threaten the independence of constables.

He said the proposals also cut the number of pay scales from 10 to 7, meaning officers could reach the higher pay grade of £36,000 more quickly.

Under the PAT proposals police in London get extra payments of £6,615 a year and those in the south-east of England up to £2,000 because of higher living costs.

Mrs May said: "These reforms build on the changes we implemented [in January last year].

'Modernise pay'

"They continue our programme to modernise... pay and conditions so that they are fair to both officers and the taxpayer. They include measures to re-target pay to reward contribution, increase local flexibility and make important structural changes to enable further reform."

Labour's shadow policing minister, David Hanson, said: "There is a real worry that the proposed starting salary for all police officers will damage the ability of police forces to recruit officers of the right skills and experience and directly contradicts the government's own wish to limit recruitment to those with three A-levels and recruit professional people from outside the police."

The chairman of the Police Federation in England and Wales, Steve Williams, said: "Whilst we remain disappointed with some of the PAT's recommendations we acknowledge that the home secretary has honoured the process of the Police Negotiating Board.

"We will continue to engage fully on behalf of our members."

But Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said morale in the police force was at "an all-time low" and added: "This is the wrong time to cut the pay of ordinary police officers."

The Association of Chief Police Officers' (Acpo) lead on workforce development, chief constable Peter Fahy, said: "In a service where over 80% of budget is spent on people, it is more vital than ever that we have terms and conditions for all staff that both reward them for what they do and represent value for money.

"Officers can also reach the top rate of pay three years earlier than under the current arrangements."

At the weekend the BBC reported how the number of young police officers in England and Wales had fallen by nearly 50% in two years.

Overall police numbers hit a nine-year low in 2012, due to tighter budget constraints slowing recruitment.

Currently sworn police officers are servants of the Crown, not employees, so they cannot be made redundant.

Tom Winsor The salary changes were originally recommended by former rail regulator Tom Winsor

But some forces have been using a regulation known as A19 to make officers with 30 years experience or more retire early.

The Winsor Report recommended allowing forces to make any police officer redundant, not just those with 30 years experience.

Scotland's Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said the Scottish government did not commission the Winsor review and he said: "We will not impose changes to the terms and conditions of our hard-working, dedicated officers.

"Starting salaries for our police constables in Scotland will stay the same.

"The police service in Scotland will not be privatised, we will safeguard officer numbers, we will not implement the Winsor package north of the border."

A spokeswoman for Northern Ireland's Department of Justice said: "The announcement by the Home Secretary regarding pay scales will relate to new recruits in England and Wales.

"The minister, the Policing Board and the PSNI routinely consider developments elsewhere in the UK and their potential implications in the context of Northern Ireland. Any proposals relating to pay are negotiated at Police Negotiating Board in the usual way."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 415.

    What a brilliant idea!

    We can now pay MPs and ministers according to their skill levels and save the country a small fortune.

    Gideon & Camoron can now be paid about tuppence ha'penny!

  • rate this

    Comment number 414.

    I highlight the headline by BBC: 'Police pay to be cut by £4000'
    The same line spun by La La Labour.
    I note it is this spin and misinformation has helped get us into this mess.
    It highlights what appear unhealthy links between what is supposed to be an independent broadcaster and Labour.
    Sometimes I think we are listening to La La Labour political broadcast.
    Shame on the BBC, again

  • rate this

    Comment number 413.

    If I wanted society to sink so that I could bring in totalitarianism the first thing I would do is give people a reason to sink into crime. Then I would make sure that there was no where to house criminals so that there was more crime being committed and then I would make sure that there was no one to catch the criminals at it. It's about time we did something about these wantwits in government

  • rate this

    Comment number 412.

    Nice one - pick on the Police. Hope you don't expect them to support you when the streets erupt. Tory Fail

  • rate this

    Comment number 411.

    HHMMM...1919 springs to mind, and if it did happen again it's a fair cop!

  • rate this

    Comment number 410.

    We are not "all in it together" Read the economic stats. The govt hasn't paid of ANY debt with all this austarity. They have taken the money out of our pockets and given it to private industry...which means the senior managers who take the profits out of private industry. They build schools roads hospitals trams with your money. They get £10m wages and bonuses. MPs get a pay rise & seat on board

  • rate this

    Comment number 409.

    Some will have little sympathy. They have been protected from this for too long. Why should one branch of workers paid by the public be considered different to others. And if you think they are better, try living with no bin collections, no fire service and no one to mop up after floods.

  • rate this

    Comment number 408.

    Mrs May doesn't have to accept the 'recommendations' and it's doubtful she would have had the tribunal recommended a rise of £4,000.
    This looks like a good way to deter people from joining the force. Perhaps prospective coppers could risk their lives at Goldman Sachs where there's grave danger of being killed if you fall off your wallet.

  • rate this

    Comment number 407.

    I wonder what the rail regulator ? Tom Winsor get's paid for all his knowledge of the Police Force ?.

  • rate this

    Comment number 406.

    So our Politicians who want to give themselves a 32% pay rise now want to cut the pay for our Police force (as well as cutting everything else they can).

    Send a message to Parliament sign the petition http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/44225

  • rate this

    Comment number 405.

    Police Officers get a £4,000 pay cut.

    MP's Recently reequested a 32% pay increase.

    Do you see MP's putting their lives on the line or in some cases putting their lives in danger to help others.

    Why dont MP's and Bankers take a pay cut!
    Cannot do the latteras their Bonus' are being deferred to a leter date so that they pay 5% less Tax

  • rate this

    Comment number 404.

    One more step towards the creation of a serfdom. Do ALL children really need to go to school? Perhaps we could charge for secondary education? Is it always best to keep poor sick people alive?

    The police should be rewarded with more pay not less!

  • rate this

    Comment number 403.

    This is rare, I read the headline, & thought - preposterious! Having done some research, I HAVE CHANGED MY MIND.

    19k for a new recruit is decent when compared with other civil service - Fire, Army, Ambulance, Teacher etc. Progression will still see these police with good wages + excellent pensions.

    However, UNFAIR to concentrate on low waged civil service in general re cuts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 402.

    This is so wrong. If an alien was to land here and look at what footballers, bankers, heads of councils are paid (and a lot of other stuff including our benefits culture and what Abu Qatada is costing us) and then see we were going to pay a serving police officer £19k to go out there and face the drunks and druggies on a weekend he would exclaim "You Earthlings don't know how to run a planet"

  • rate this

    Comment number 401.

    Mrs May's appointment as Chief Inspector of Constabulary adds little weight to this decision. Tom Winsor can hardly be considered as knowing anything about policing, his legal career was corporate/regulatory and not criminal.

    Mr Winsor presided over the worst years of Railtrack's history and now it seems they will both preside over the worst period in the police force's history.

  • rate this

    Comment number 400.

    Question Time last week had some toff stating that MPs' salaries need to be of a certain level to "attract the right people".

    Why then don't they apply the same logic to the Police service?

    We are all in this together? MP +32%....... Police -4%

    Clearly some of us are more "in it" than others!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 399.

    I reckon that the coalition should have waited till after this Summer before upsetting the cops.

    They might be needing them pretty soon.

  • rate this

    Comment number 398.

    Only a few days ago it was announced that since 2009 PC's under the age of 26 have reduced by 50%, or more in some areas.

    Government incentive, reduce the starting salary to entice them to join up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 397.

    Let us see MP's starting salaries cut by an equivalent percentage

    and an MP may only hold the position of an MP.

    No jobs on the side as company directors or consultants or similar. MPs just do the one job for which they receive a full-time salary!

  • rate this

    Comment number 396.

    Keith# 49
    Would you do their job?
    Do you think 'plebs'should have their pay cut in general?


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