'Disgust' at pay freeze for South Yorkshire police office officers

‘Disgust’ has been expressed in South Yorkshire at a pay freeze for police officers announced yesterday.

By Claire Lewis
Thursday, 26th November 2020, 8:52 am

Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed yesterday that a public sector pay freeze will be rolled out next year, with only NHS workers and the lowest paid exempt.

In response, the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, is to contact all the county’s MPs today to register ‘disgust’ at the pay freeze and request their support.

Chairman Steve Kent said police officers have been betrayed by the government at a time when they are on the front line enforcing Covid restrictions while still maintaining law and order during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Police officers are facing a pay freeze next year

“I am quite clear in that this is a betrayal by the government,” he said.

“Our officers have been on the front line throughout this crisis as much as our NHS colleagues, who have rightly been protected. To make them foot the bill and essentially ignore that is quite frankly disgusting and shows the disregard that still exists for the hard work, risk and sacrifice our officers have to make day and day out.”

The national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, John Apter, described the pay freeze as a ‘kick in the teeth’ for officers.

He said: “After years of austerity and a real terms pay cut of 18 per cent, today’s news will be a kick in the teeth for police officers.

“This year my colleagues have been on the front line in the battle against Covid-19, protecting the public and putting their own safety and the safety of their families at risk. Despite the warm words and the weekly applause for key workers, it seems to count for nothing.

“We are realists; we know that the country is facing a difficult economic future. But rewarding those who have played a vital role in the fight against the virus with a pay freeze is nothing short of a disgrace.

“A handful of officers will get the additional £250 for the lowest paid workers, but only those who are already on an appallingly low starting salary for the dangerous job they do.”