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 535.

    Wish my starting salary was 19 grand a year with no experience while being corrupt, selling info to news papers and killing innocent members of the public and covering it up by all sticking to together.

    While our soldiers who do a lot more important and dangerous job are on minimum wage starting pay and still sign up for service without a complaint. The police could learn something n be humble.

  • rate this

    Comment number 534.

    This just shows what they think of the little people. Public servants (whatever the job) who are all essential to society, have their pay cut, whilst the MPs think it's OK to demand a 32% pay rise. I don't think they'll be getting a second term somehow.

  • rate this

    Comment number 533.

    We must be preparing a new tax cut for the super rich.

    LibDems, take a step back and look at what you are enabling to happen and for what?
    If you have any honour left start voting with Labour asap.

    Look out teachers!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 532.

    I really wish this country had some fight left in it.


  • rate this

    Comment number 531.

    I'm actually ok with this. My experience of old school friends who went into the police force were those who had no other future other than minimum wage factory work. 23k was frankly ludicrous and more than they could otherwise hope to earn. This reduction will still draw the same calibre of candidate because 19k for bare minimum qualifications is still more than they would otherwise ever earn.

  • rate this

    Comment number 530.

    Ironic that MP's voted a 32% pay increase for themselves - BBC news earlier this week. I would rather give it to the police and cut the Home Secretary's income.

  • rate this

    Comment number 529.

    Perhaps the problem is people find it far too easy to support hand outs of big pay from a magic money pot. As someone who has never got close to 19k such sums are farcical to be handed out so easily. We should think of wider comparisons is a teacher worth twice what a shop worker gets? etc. There is far far too big a gap between the bottom and the masses in the middle. The middle has to come down.

  • rate this

    Comment number 528.

    I take it politicians are going to are going to reduce their wages by the same amount????

    I think not......

  • rate this

    Comment number 527.

    @474 During the coal strike there were T-shirts made by Avon and Summerst Police maked A.S.P.O.M. they told press it stood for Avon and Summerset Police Opperation Miner. Infact it was printed to represent Authur Scargil Pays Our Mortages. Well know in the police, just like the Black Rat stickers in the rear window to identify drivers as traffic cops. Nice club, eh?

  • rate this

    Comment number 526.

    373. North Westerner

    Go on, let us know.....What did they just nab you for?

  • rate this

    Comment number 525.

    So ... the guys who try and make our streets safer have now had a starting pay cut while the goldman sachs bankers who caused half the problems we have defer their £1,000,000.00 bonus till later this year so they can take advantage of the 45% tax cut.
    Nah , this goverment is not on the side of the rich asnd powerful at all . i wonder where the clever uni grad is going to apply for a job .

  • rate this

    Comment number 524.

    What everyone needs to realize is,The incremental scale is currently frozen, we are getting no pay rise for service. You are considered training until you hit the top of your band.I'm Prison service and I top out at£28,000, but I work the same shifts etc.I accept that but just now my pay is static, despite inflation driving up prices.
    Not looking forward to summer as the jails will be bursting.

  • rate this

    Comment number 523.

    not a bad start at 19k a year look at the Nurse's they get abused a lot and have to work long hour some times even double shift with the Cut backs and shutting down hospitals

    -Nurses start on £22K (and that's insulting too)

    A Back Bench Tory MP however ,starts on £59K with £98K in office costs and a virtually unlimited expenses facility.

    These muppets thinks that warrants a £19K rise!

  • rate this

    Comment number 522.

    So is Theresa May telling us that a newly qualified police officer is only worth a quarter of what a newly qualified MP is worth (that excludes an MPs expenses). If so she is desperately out of touch with the people. Such conceited arrogance has no place in government. Cut MPs pay and make it "pay by results". That should take them down to about £8,000 a year.

  • rate this

    Comment number 521.

    An observation with the Tories is if you are near the bottom of the pile, they will dig a bigger hole, and throw you in. If you are at the top, they will build a taller building and send you further up! Robin Hood in total reverse!

  • rate this

    Comment number 520.

    £19k before tax as a starting salary is a disgrace. Thats before cops pay 14.7% the pension contributions are increasing to. Who on earth is going to put their lives in danger for that till they are pensioners? A job in McDonalds pays more than that! What standard of officer are the Govt expecting? If you pay peanuts you get monkeys! Astonishingly short sighted. What a surprise from this shower!

  • rate this

    Comment number 519.

    why should anyone be surprised with anything this government does.
    I think anyone can s

    I think everyone can see this government rides roughshod over everyone. It is clear they are only interested in cutting costs and corners its only a matter of time before they sicken all of the emergency and armed forces off.
    Your gambling with the cuts you make and will be found out shortly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 518.

    This is a clear disincentive to most young graduates who otherwise would have the drive and skill to excel in the police force. If we want a police force that reflects society and is capable of making effective strategic decisions at all levels, is it wise to completely discourage graduates from joining, with starting salaries far lower than the rest of the civil service?

  • rate this

    Comment number 517.

    An MP gets paid 65 K to serve the public.New police officers will be paid a small fraction of that to do dangerous work with long irregular hours. If you feel this is unfair, as I do please sighn this Epetiton to parliament.


    If enough signatures could be reached parliament would be obliged to review.Please vote this up and share the link.

  • rate this

    Comment number 516.

    £19k is a fair wage for the job. Especially when you factor in the inflexible working practices that mean they can count on paid overtime instead of agreeing to shifts that mean they're on duty when they're actually needed. And then there's the routine retirement at 50 on a pension that most of us can only dream of. Get real!


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