The chair of Nottinghamshire Police Federation has urged the Government to give officers a meaningful pay rise as he warned rising Covid cases threaten to hit morale.
Simon Riley said morale in policing was already “at a low ebb” as officers feel the impact of a decade without a pay rise and the cost of living crisis.
And he said that the latest wave of coronavirus infections threaten to impact services and add to the demands on an already overstretched workforce.
Now he’s urging the Government to show its support for policing by giving officers a meaningful pay rise.
Simon said: “Police officers are frontline workers who put themselves in harm’s way every day – including with this latest wave of coronavirus.
“The virus hasn’t gone away and it’s still a very real concern to our members, particularly those who may be vulnerable or who have vulnerable family and friends.
“According to the figures, already one person in every 30 has the virus and there’s the risk that as the wave grows we’ll see policing services tested and the demands on our overstretched members grow.
“This will undoubtedly have an impact on morale, which is already at a low ebb after a decade without a pay rise and soaring inflation, which is hitting officers hard.
“It’s high time the Government showed its support for policing during difficult times with a substantial pay rise which would help to ease the pressures on officers.”
Steve Hartshorn, the national Federation chair, said with Covid cases rising it was “a worrisome period” for officers.
He said: “Our members are presently going through a ‘Summer of Discontent’. The cost of living is going through the roof, police officers’ pay and work conditions are abysmal and we are staring at another surge in Covid-19 infections, which will have a cascading effect on our work commitments.
“Police officers have endured a blanket pay freeze for two years and a 20 per cent real terms pay cut set against inflation since 2010. They continue to perform their duties to serve and protect the public, but they are not immune to financial pressures. Asking officers to risk their lives but at the same time, feed their families from foodbanks is simply not on.
“The police and the public want the Government to succeed in delivering their key manifesto commitment of 20,000 new officers, but it is doomed to fail at the level of current salaries.”
National deputy chair Tiff Lynch added: “We have to learn to live with Covid-19. Because of the nature of our work, we cannot close the doors on our duties. Chief constables must be held to account for the wellbeing of their force. They must rise to the situation and be more sensitive towards our members.”