South Yorkshire police boss disappointed at pay freeze for cops
South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has expressed his disappointment at the decision to freeze police pay for a year.
Dr Alan Billings spoke out after the government announced last week that a public sector pay pause will apply to police officers and staff, meaning those officers earning more than £24,000 will not receive a pay award this year.
Those earning under £24,000 will receive a one-off sum of £250.
Dr Billings said: “Although I recognise that at some point the government will need to take difficult decisions about the nation’s finances, freezing the pay of the police and others in the public sector is poor reward for what they have done for us over this past year and a half.
“The police officers and support staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that the restrictions were observed and the spread of the coronavirus was contained.
“Frontline officers have often put themselves at risk in order to ensure that we were kept safe and law and order was maintained.
“I join with other police and crime commissioners across the country, of all political parties, who are calling on the government to support the police and offer a deserved pay rise.”
Steve Kent, chairman of South Yorkshire’s Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said: “Our officers can be ordered to work 24/7 and can have their days off and holidays cancelled.
“Our officers are liable for simply being a police officer on or off duty and have huge restrictions on their personal lives.
“Our officers are working up to 60 hours plus a week.
“Our officers have been at the frontline throughout Covid, supporting and plugging the gaps in other services and putting themselves at risk and their lives on the line every single day.
“Our officers have been spat at, assaulted and abused throughout this pandemic on an increasing level and have had little or no breaks or quality leave.
“Our officers are constantly subjected to lengthy investigations for what are on most occasions officers simply doing their jobs.
“Our officers have never been busier and are right now extremely exhausted and getting burnt out…and this is how the government value us.”