Concern in South Yorkshire over possible pay freeze for police

Concern has been expressed in South Yorkshire over a possible pay free for police officers.

By Claire Lewis
Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 9:54 am

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is due to announce his spending review tomorrow, with a public sector pay freeze being mooted.

It is reported that the freeze will not affect NHS workers as they fight coronavirus, but police worker pay could be hit.

Steve Kent, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, has spoken of his disappointment at the suggestion.

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South Yorkshire Police Federation chairman, Steve Kent.

He said: “Lets look at this for a moment and before people come out and suggest greed...officers faced almost 20 per cent cuts to their salaries in the last decade and now we are potentially here again having not really recovered from that.

“Our NHS colleagues are quite rightly likely to be protected from the cuts and I’m sure no one will begrudge them that, however that suggests that policing hasn’t been at the front line of this pandemic as well.

“Officers have been there throughout this, working long hours and exposing themselves to this pandemic as well.

“They cannot shy away or refuse to go into addresses and deal with people who have Covid or refuse to be the ones who pull apart and deal with the idiots who hold the parties and flout the rules.

“Also, is there memory loss of all those officers having to deal with protesters from all sides of the spectrum, this coupled with the sickening rise on assaults on officers over the last six months?

“Normally I am sure officers could swallow an apparent short term freeze – I am very skeptical about the short bit –however not when our officers have been working to the limit during this period and also had to foot the bill to such a massive extent in the not too distant past.”

Tomorrow’s spending review will see the government announce how much funding schools, hospitals and other public services will receive over the next financial year, starting in April 2021.

Mr Sunak is also expected to detail the impact Covid-19 has had on the economy over the year so far.