Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Pay warning 'damages police morale'

Theresa May's warning that police officers face cuts to their pay undermines morale, it has been claimed
Theresa May's warning that police officers face cuts to their pay undermines morale, it has been claimed
Theresa May has warned that police officers face cuts to their pay

The morale of officers across the country will be damaged by Home Secretary Theresa May's warning over police pay cuts, the Police Federation has said.

Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the organisation which represents rank-and-file officers in England and Wales, said it was clear the Home Secretary undervalues the work of the police, despite her claims to the contrary.

"Officers will see straight through that," he said.

"She clearly undervalues what we do, despite what she says. Words are cheap, but actions speak louder. Clearly she does not value us as much as she says she does."

His comments come after Mrs May said that in any organisation where £11 billion, three-quarters of total spending, went on wages, it was clear pay would have to be considered in any review.

Mr Reed said officers expected to be part of the two-year public sector pay freeze, which Mrs May said would save some £350 million.

"That's a considerable sacrifice," he said. "Officers and their families are making that sacrifice. Whatever other cuts come on top of that will have an adverse effect on morale."

He attacked Mrs May's "double speak", saying: "On the one hand she celebrates the amazing work done every day by the police, recognising the incredibly tough job officers do, fighting crime and facing danger.

"Yet she sees fit to reward them with pay cuts and uncertainty over their terms and conditions."

But Mrs May, who said she will not see the findings of the Winsor review until it is published on Tuesday, added that "extraordinary circumstances" mean the Government must reform terms and conditions to keep officers on the streets.

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