Police officers resorting to food banks, warns Scotland Yard chief

·1-min read
Police officers are resorting to food banks, says Met boss Sir Mark Rowley  (Trevor Chriss/Alamy/PA)
Police officers are resorting to food banks, says Met boss Sir Mark Rowley (Trevor Chriss/Alamy/PA)

Police officers are resorting to food banks after having their pay squeezed over the last decade, the head of the UK’s biggest force said.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said he is concerned growing numbers of officers are struggling to make ends meet.

He said while police have no wish to strike, they are “frustrated” at the way their living standards have been eroded in recent years.

“I am concerned about the cumulative effect of challenging pay over many years. I think frontline officers have lost about 14 per cent in real terms over a decade,” Sir Mark told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

I have seen data about police officers using food banks, which is really concerning

Sir Mark Rowley

“They have no desire to strike but they are frustrated. I have seen data about police officers using food banks, which is really concerning. Those issues are of great concern to me.

“They do an amazing job. We’ve got officers who cause us problems and we are bearing down on that. But I’ve got tens of thousands of men and women who really care about London and they are so committed to the mission of helping people and taking on dangerous offenders.

“I need to do everything possible to set them up to succeed. Part of that is them feeling they can make ends meet. All the data says some of them are finding that hard.”

Sir Mark’s warning comes as the Government faces a wave of industrial action across public services – from rail to the NHS – with unions demanding pay rises matching the rising cost of living.

It is illegal for UK police to strike.