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

Related Stories

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."


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 1295.

    Interesting, is Tom Winsor starting on £19,000 per year? He has no police experience at all....therefore equal to a new recruit?
    That aside, still not mention of the conflict of interest he had is there, during his review of police pay and conditions, he was still on the board of G4S. Who if you didn't know are actively targeting taking over areas of police responsibility within the community.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1294.

    So soon after 2 police officers were murdered in Manchester and a hero officer was killed responding to an emergency in Yorkshire. This is how Great Britain rewards those that protect it? Utterly disgusting.
    As a non-police citizen I would like to thank all officers and would give my support to fight this injustice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1293.

    Can we link MPs pay, expenses and conditions to the same as the police please. Save well over £100 million that

    Sounds a fair cop to me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1292.


    I agree talent pool will diminish - but only slightly. Most people have to volunteer as Specials or start as PCSO before they get into policing. For many talented people it's all they want to do, despite the pay, so I think they should still be able to recruit well.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1291.


    A very good knowledge of the Law, very good negotiation skills, physical fit, advanced driving skills, communication skills to name a few. It appears sometimes that some of the public don't actually realise what we do it is not just about arresting people, there is a lot more to it than you think

  • rate this

    Comment number 1290.

    MPs have privately said they want a pay rise, with the majority calling for a 32% increase that would take their annual salary to £86,250. However Theresa May is happy for young officers to go out each day for £19,000 a year not knowing whether they will come home as the tragic cases of Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone have shown us not less than 4 months ago. Disgraceful How does she sleep at night

  • rate this

    Comment number 1289.

    Maybe Rory McIlroy can stump up to increase the annual wage of the newbies in the service. This seems a good way to put even more people off wanting to join an already stretched police force. At least we've got our priorities right!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1288.

    Other professions have their share of bad apples (without any doubt) but the police are SEEN as the law and it is SEEN as total hypocrisy when the police themselves are breaching the laws they are supposed to be upholding. Im really sorry guys but you dont appear to accept the truth when its pointed out to you. GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER and the public will support you!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1287.

    I have more than 15 yrs frontline service in the Police. As a direct consequence of Windsor's proposals to slash my pension, whilst raising my monthly contributions to 14.2% & work until I am 60, I have reached the end of my tether. I am leaving. I have acquired lucrative work abroad. I know several PCSO's who have cancelled applications to the job because they cannot afford the pay drop. TJF!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1286.

    With the way society is changing, and people are not always looking out for each other in public, I think £19,000 is reasonable for a trainee but thereafter totally unacceptable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1285.

    New recruits won't miss what they didn't have in the first place so why all the fuss?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1284.


    Its not just about people wanting to join the Police, its about the right people joining it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1283.

    The country is broke and everyone is suffering its as simple as that and it is going to continue by the look of it, i believe this is just the start. It is only a ROOKIE policman affected.
    As i have already stated I think most policemen are over paid for their skill level, what would you do if you got fired? What skills could you offer? just out of interest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1282.

    All parties are really far removed from reality MPS can fiddle there expences the rest of us crapped on from a veryblarge height ???

  • rate this

    Comment number 1281.

    @ 1275. You're speaking about nurses and ambulancemen but this debate is about police pay. They are all front line staff, no -one forces any of them into the jobs, they choose it. They shouldn't be treated any differently to anyone else in the front line. Every job has its risks. Theres too much of putting police on a pedastal. They do a hard job and I respect thembut so do a lot of other folk

  • rate this

    Comment number 1280.

    Simple supply and demand, I know loads of people who want to be police but cant get in. Forces rarely recruit.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1279.

    Cutting Police pay completely undermines one of Windsor's key aims, namely to raise the standing of policing as a profession. Windsor has referred to raising the profession to put it on a par with medicine & the legal profession. Evidently cutting the starting salary by £4k is essential to raise the profile of policing. What utter nonsense! Meanwhile avarious MP's demand a £20k rise!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1278.

    Isn't it wrong that a police officer on the higher pay grade only earns £36k a year and probably needs a second job, while a tube driver takes home £46k a year.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1277.

    OK Kitty, not all are bad but Joe Public wants to these the bad ones punished (and severely). JP is seeing time and time again police been "let off"or "retiring on full pension" after found guilty of gross misconduct. If you want a higher than normal salary then lets see a change when "bad" police are identified, give the public REASON to show trust and confidence which the police lost themselves?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1276.

    1258 tony. You cite six names out of 144,000 england cops. Check how many nurses were struck off last year. Check how many teachers were struck off last year. Check how many social workers. How many doctors.(regulating body websites) How many lawyers. How many servicemen court martialled.
    Come on..attack them and their wages andpensionswith the same vitriol! Not to mention MPs commiting fraud!


Page 1 of 65


More UK stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.