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 435.

    Woohoo! less pay for bobbies...that'll help the deficit and please all those who have had a speeding fine or had the shed broken into....but in three years time when crime rises, the ConDems have been kicked into touch and Mrs May has had her breakdown will we all welcome G4S to the streets?
    Mrs May and the 'milky bar kid' have stitched us all up with the usual 'fair to the taxpayer' rhetoric.

  • rate this

    Comment number 434.

    Seems ironic that £19k is the about the same as the PAY RISE that MPs think they're worth! Public service is apparently a vocation, for every profession except MPs!
    Who would put up with all the cr*p that the Police have to, including probably the worst shift pattern ever invented, for £19k? You can tell that no MP has ever ventured into any British town/city centre on a Fri or Saturday night!

  • rate this

    Comment number 433.


    I notice that MPs are apparently worth a 30% rise for 'new boys' i.e. not ministers, senior MPS etc.

    Still, we'll all in it together with this recession.

  • rate this

    Comment number 432.

    This govt. is looking at anything in its budget that has a high cost and is cutting it, fairly or unfairly. The high cost of course is usually because of the large numbers of employees involved. Soon there will be few career paths left, able to support pensions in old age - I despair!

  • rate this

    Comment number 431.

    A police officer has to have a significant range of skills and talents. The vast majority of police officers (particularly at front line level) are extremely hard working and committed. Officers come from all walks of life, many are graduates, many have other qualifications and life skills. Police officers require intellect, courage and mettle - sadly lacking in many MP's. £19k is laughable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 430.

    Those that say police are over paid clearly don't look at the dangers police officers are exposed to. Police turn up to what could be a normal call but breaks out into some else. In an office the worse you might get is a paper cut, for police officers just look what happened in Manchester. Normal. One is shot in the head and the second blown up by a grenade! Think what they do to look after us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 429.

    Once you add in overtime it comes up to £38,000 per annum - not too bad!

  • rate this

    Comment number 428.

    I think £19k to sit in await in a layby in pursuit to criminalise motorists and generate revenue by fines is quite a lucrative paid job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 427.

    As a Police Officer I was shot at, spat on, urinated over, saw a colleague murdered , I was assaulted frequently, on one occasion receiving a fractured skull
    Also I saved lives and arrested murderers and received awards for bravery.

    I don't say this to big myself up it isn't an unusual CV for a copper.

    This government thinks the appropriate reward is £20,000 less than a trainee City Accountant

  • rate this

    Comment number 426.

    @322Tekkers.. you clearly don't like police,come work a week in a busy city and THEN tell me £19k is a fair wage.Tell that to the families of the officers who have given their lives for the job.Tell that to the officers who worked 17days straight on 12hr shifts during the riots.Tell that to the officers trying to keep alive the 2murder victims in B'ham with blood pouring out over them from wounds

  • rate this

    Comment number 425.

    Why should anyone accept lower wages, when MPs themselves are demanding 32% increase for themselves, as well as keeping gold plated final salary pensions, and getting £33k golden goodbye for leaving the post?

  • rate this

    Comment number 424.

    I would love to earn 19k a year. Would I like a job where I am abused, both physically and verbally, that mentally exhausts me after yet another horrific murder scene, or accident scene, where potentially I put my life on the line at every call out. No, I bloody well wouldn't!

  • rate this

    Comment number 423.

    I believe that this is fair as they also receive other benefits such pensions which are valuable. Like any career, you start at the bottom and work your way up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 422.

    And the award for worst comment on any forum, ever...

    ..goes to


  • rate this

    Comment number 421.

    Great news! In fact they are not even worth the 190000! I would cut it more.

    Cops? 10 a penny!

  • rate this

    Comment number 420.

    Oh my god are your sure,this is a bad move again,how about cutting all the lazy world owes me a living local goverment workers(dead wood as i like to call them)the worse thing that they face on a daily basis is taking the lid of the coffe jar,can be real dangerous that one.

  • rate this

    Comment number 419.

    This new change is ridiculous. As a newly appointed Constable in Scotland, I am so glad I moved up from England to start my career here. I've already taken a several thousand pound pay cut to join, I cant imagine having to take another £4,000 cut. This is no way to attract more mature well rounded officers to the job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 418.

    "compared to those who pay taxes"
    Police officers pay income tax, council tax and NI. Why do so many people think otherwise? Police morale is at an all time low, especially since Costa Coffee stopped police 50% discount!

    In all seriousness, police pay is in need of reform. But it is not in need of pay cuts. Any idea how hard it is to become a Constable? Now add a £4k cut in the mix. Disgrace.

  • rate this

    Comment number 417.

    19K ? I dont think they'll stay long once they've had a taste of the job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 416.

    So, "We're all in it together"? Slash those on benefits and cut police pay. Yet, in a private poll, MPs think they should get a 32% rise?
    We are returning to a world where an old man, on a horse and cart, would go round the streets, shouting "Rag Bone?, Rag Bone?", just to try and eek out his living!
    Yes, indeed, that's progress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 (NOT!)


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