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 555.

    Look, the Co Durham force want to arrest kids who throw snowballs! That is not worth £23k per year. £19k or even less is quite sufficient for and 18 year old.

  • rate this

    Comment number 554.

    Perhaps if the Govt did a better job with Corporate Taxes they wouldn't have to make such cuts in Public Services

  • rate this

    Comment number 553.

    Quite frankly it's about time. Considering that the same entry-level (post training) pay for a private/marine is slightly over £17k, it's ridiculous that police officers were ever payed £6k more for a job that (whilst necessary) is in no way comparable to the unbelievable danger, skill, commitment (soldiers are paid for 24 hour working days) that members of the armed forces are paid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 552.

    A good start but the government needs to go much further. The Police need reforming top to bottom. They need to start looking at pay across all levels. I can completely accept it can be one of the most difficult jobs in the county, but if the Police actually believe the will get any sympathy regarding pay from the public they are seriously out of touch.

  • rate this

    Comment number 551.

    Having spent the last year committing a great deal of my own time to the process of joining the police, this has come as a great disappointment. I'm educated and have been successful in my previous career, but I want to give something back to the community whilst taking a significant pay cut. This, however, has made me seriously reconsider my future with the police force.

  • rate this

    Comment number 550.

    Thank goodness my daughter has chosen to join the police in Scotland where through good financial management the SNP government has managed to INCREASE police numbers rather than cut them. Roll on 2014 when we can take control of all spending in our own country after a yes vote in the referendum.

  • rate this

    Comment number 549.

    Maybe we should turn Westminster into a Prison the place is full of Criminals!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 548.

    Reduce pay; reduce people. Not enough police Joe public? We've got 20k in G4S ready to help. How convenient.

    You'll find the banking elite are very pro private security in public policing.

    Tyranny always includes disarming the public, whilst arming itself and centralising power (privatising security is as good as it gets). Obama wants to ban guns; but just increased his own armed protection. Hmm

  • rate this

    Comment number 547.

    By continually dumbing down our once finest police forces we'll probably end up with more of this:
    "Oxford 'child sex ring committed depraved abuse'" See sickening story on this site, but note, no comments are allowed!
    It doesn't matter that yet again they seem to be asian and the girls white, that wouldn't be why we can't comment?
    We need old style policing but we'll get more cut price pc PC's

  • rate this

    Comment number 546.

    There's a lot of criticism about officers retiring in their fifties but no acknowledgement that they have no choice in the matter.The scheme that allowed them to defer their pensions & work on - as many people here think they out to - has been ended. I know many officers approaching their 30th year who'd love the opportunity to carry on, but they cost too much - cheaper inexperience all the way

  • rate this

    Comment number 545.

    What this doesnt explain is that once you take out 14% for your pension a new recruit will by on an houlry rate that is less than a Store Asst. at Aldi, to be spat at, assaulted, sworn at, to be late home or have their day off cancelled at a moments notice - given the choice what would you do?

  • rate this

    Comment number 544.

    Great stuff!!

    Pay cut for those who die at front line

    and 32% Pay rise for MPs + fraud claim bonuses

  • rate this

    Comment number 543.

    19k sounds like a reasonable amount to most however what they don't tell you is how much the deductions are each month and that a new recruit will only be left with around £1200 a month. Who can live on that! Officers are losing money every month and getting nothing for their hard work. It just shows how little the government think of the police. Oh and the police pay taxes aswel!

  • rate this

    Comment number 542.

    Perhaps May will show some solidarity with her charges and take a cut in pay? - as we are all in this together- I suspect that most taxpayers would consider this to be, using her words, "fair to the taxpayer". I somehow doubt it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 541.

    And to save even more money why dont we cut MP's salaries to 19000 from the 64000+expenses? Oh no that wouldnt be done would it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 540.

    Bullies, liars, killers. The Tomlinson affair sums up perfectly the type of organisation it has become. Is it any wonder it's finding it hard to recruit?

  • rate this

    Comment number 539.

    19k is still good for a job that doesn't require any qualifications at all.

    It is good too that lenght of service will n longer be a factor in salary levels.

  • rate this

    Comment number 538.

    When you've had the police refuse to investigate a criminal matter, laugh when your car has been vandalised for the fifth time and an officer pull you aside and square up to you because they don't like what you're doing even when it's not illegal, your sympathy reduces. In my view if the police want better money they need to a better job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 537.

    NSW Police starting Salary $61000 ( 2012) (£31500) NSW PD Website
    NYPD On entering polic academy $48000 (£29800)
    Newly hired NYPD officers can expect to receive nearly $2.2 million in pension payments over 32 years of retirement ( NYPD website).

    These countries have a recession too!

    We are already half way to a third world wage level and standard of police force if thats where you want to go.

  • rate this

    Comment number 536.

    How this will work is once introduced more police will be recruited on the lower wage while those long serving with experience on higher wages will be shown the door


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