Many welcomed the news but others raised concerns that the “targeted” pay strategy negatively affected those in higher ranks.
The Home Office said all police officers in England and Wales will be given an extra £1,900, applying to all ranks from September 1 and is the equivalent of a 5% pay rise overall.
The department said it accepted recommendations from the independent police pay review body in full, adding that the money is “targeted at those on the lowest pay points to provide them with an uplift of up to 8.8%, and between 0.6% and 1.8% for those on the highest pay points.”
The police constable degree apprentice minimum starting salary will also be raised to £23,556.
London weighting and the dog handlers’ allowance will also see a 5% increase.
The Government announcement today that police officers will get a pay award of £1,900 is positive news for those young in service and new joiners but is more disappointing for those longer in service and in supervisory ranks who are also struggling financially.#PayOurPolice
— Police Federation (@PFEW_HQ) July 19, 2022
Steve Hartshorn, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “After our persistent appeals, the Government are finally starting to listen to the huge concerns we have over low police pay.
“It is disappointing that the pay increase is not good news for all officers, negatively affecting those in higher ranks. It’s in the Government’s direct interest to ensure that all police officers are paid properly and can pay their bills.
“If they don’t, retaining the high-quality officers our country needs – and this Government promised – will be doomed to fail.”
But Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police branch of the federation, dismissed the news as “nothing more than yet another derisory pay offer to hard working police officers”.
The Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association (CPOSA) and the Police Superintendents’ Association said the pay award “fails to fairly reward or recognise those tasked with serving and protecting our communities,” adding: “This is the first time we have seen a targeted pay award – something that is incredibly divisive and creates both inequality and a lack of fairness across a service based on a rank structure.
“There is no long-term strategy behind this approach, which ignores the rank structure of police officer pay, and disadvantages those with the highest levels of responsibility.”
National Police Chiefs’ Council chairman Martin Hewitt said the money will help officers “keep pace with cost of living increases, particularly those who have recently joined policing” but warned: “Both the Home Office and individual forces face financial challenges in accommodating the cost of this pay award.
“As such, we welcome the additional funding from government and the commitment to additional funds for the next two years until the next spending review.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “It is right that we recognise the extraordinary work of our officers who day in, day out, work tirelessly to keep our streets, communities and country safe.”
Meanwhile the prisons pay review body recommended prison officers are given a 4% pay rise, with staff on lower pay rates receiving £1,500 to £3,000 extra.
But it warned the “crisis the service is facing will only worsen unless there is significant and immediate investment in pay to improve the competitiveness of the Prison Service’s employment package”.
The body’s report said: “Uncompetitive pay levels and serious long-running recruitment and retention problems are putting the Prison Service in an unsustainable position that risks the stability of prisons due to inadequate staffing levels and experience.”