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 495.

    And yet the politicians have the gumption to demand a 32% pay increase on their already hefty salaries plus expenses. Why don't they take a pay cut like the rest of us had to?

  • rate this

    Comment number 494.

    19.000 is not bad pay to start but if they must cut pay take it from politicians, or better still cut actors pay so that the movie industry can can stop winging on about piracy. give the police, ambulance, fire brigade more money and take it away from footballers and others that earn far too much. there is just something wrong with this country, also give more to nurses who do a fantastic job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 493.

    Are people really surprised that the quality of Policing is falling - Quality candidates will look elsewhere for a career - Like ALL the emergency services a salary worthy of the risks these professionals take is essential to keeping the highest standards.

    Pay peanuts - get monkey's!

  • rate this

    Comment number 492.

    As an ex cop not a problem. They are well paid these days in fact, towards the end of my service in 2006 I had no idea why I was getting all the pay increases merely for doing my job it was a nonsense. When I joined they accepted you if you were warm & breathing The Met was 5000 understrength and we really were paid a pittance in fact, less then the traffic wardens !!

  • rate this

    Comment number 491.

    I would rather pay pay a policeman 19k and someone who generally cares about the public, than pay an MP who just wants to manipulate Scrounge and Rip off the general public to the tune off £65,738 ohhh and there expensis,

    MP'S should be ashamed of themselves but it wont be long before they are begging the police to protect them from the public they are ment to be serving!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 490.

    I think I can agree with this £19000 is quite a good starting salary while learning a job however I think we should go further why should an MP start on a full salary when they first start maybe their first term in office should be on a reduced salary while learning rheir job

  • rate this

    Comment number 489.

    The point is very few officers start at 18 - they just don't have the range of skills to get through the selection process. Many join once they are in their twenties and older (they may well not have any relevant previous policing skills but are an asset) coming from industry, the services (both officers and NCO's) and other walks of life. With no relevant policing skills will they start at £19k?

  • rate this

    Comment number 488.

    The Olympic games? grat excuse to give billions of your money; saved by sacking you..to their pals who own construction and security firms.
    Thatcher would have given her right arm for this opportunity to get the british working class to agree to her trashing the standards of living they fought for for a century.. "Its the crash..weve all..well..you, have got to accept a life of dickensian poverty!

  • rate this

    Comment number 487.

    I always thought Policing was vocational. If you can't accept a TRAINING salary of £19,000 then choose another role in life. Crumbs, anyone would think they'd be stuck on £19,000 for their entire lives. Perhaps it will lead to more dedicated and genuine applicants?

  • rate this

    Comment number 486.

    A policeman in the UK a dangerous job? What's the danger in being hidden in the bush with a laser gun to catch speeders on the road? That's what the Force does doesn't it? Or even better go to University and get a better paid job. Simple.

  • rate this

    Comment number 485.

    £19k might be a good starting sallary but I hope they won't be out on the streets before they are getting a bit more. Hope we make sure that only really well-paid senior officers deal with the overpaid members of our society. Point is, some time back it was realised that you get a less corrupt kind of copper if you pay enough, give good enough conditions that they can resist temptation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 484.

    Interesting how the comments from police here are all anti government. If I were a Minister I'd be nervous...

  • rate this

    Comment number 483.

    The duplicity of politicians and their wretched advisors never ceases to amaze me. If we complain about the obscene salaries of "top execs" we get told, "ah well if they weren't paid that sort of money we wouldn't get the top people". But its okay to slash Police wages. Mind you when civil unrest occurs, the politicians are the first to send in the Police and hide behind the riot shields.

  • rate this

    Comment number 482.

    Everyone look at Greece, see how the people are suffering, now look at a foreign newsite and see how the UK is viewed.
    Davy Boy had no problem finding money to pay for jets to Mali, which will escalate,Trident,tax cuts for millionaires.
    The UK will be the next Greece due to Osborns totally inept grasp of economics.Stimulate growth, INVEST YOU CLOWN, instead he cuts worse than Sweeny Todd

  • rate this

    Comment number 481.

    Slightly off topic but the whole saleries and pUK tax situation is a complete shambles.

    Company directors can "pay" themselves £7k ish and the remainder by "dividends". This means they remain eligible for tax credits, child benefits, lower tax etc.

    Its all legal and used by 100's of thousands of small business owners.

    All they are doing is using the tax system to minise their liability.

  • rate this

    Comment number 480.

    £19,000 a Year
    Coincidentally this is the same figure TORY MP's think their pay should be increased by.

    Presumably because of the wonderful job they are doing.

    This out of touch elitist Government has got to go.

  • rate this

    Comment number 479.

    Probably won't affect the Tories on here, the probably go 'thking in the thwiss aplths' or 'thunbathing in Barbadoth', for most of the year....(don't know why it's called a 'stiff upper lip', when they lisp with the bottom lip...must be instilled at boarding school

  • rate this

    Comment number 478.

    Cutting benefits + Cutting services + Closing prisons + Mass unemployment/underemployment + Rising prices + general increased poverty + Cutting armed services + Cutting police = Explosion of crime! Why? It'd be a good excuse to segregate the have's & have not's, then introduce a by the back door totalitarian state with something akin to martial law for the have not's!

  • rate this

    Comment number 477.

    #354 digbic - Not quite. The survey was of 100 MPs and was conducted on behalf of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority who are responsible (now) for setting MP's pay. The survey will feed into the consultation they are launcing sometime in the Spring, so there is a chance that what MP's think they should get, however unfair it may seem, will come to pass.

  • rate this

    Comment number 476.

    This is a hypocritical government that wants everyone else to take a hit, including civil servants, nurses, soldiers, unemployed, police, teachers etc. But when it comes to their own pay packets, they want a 32% increase from £60k to £80k+? They are acting just like the greedy fat cat robber bosses of big companies. They just want to line their own pockets at the expense of others.


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