The Police Federation has written to the Chancellor urging him to use the Spring Statement to guarantee a real-terms pay increase for police officers this year.

The letter to Rishi Sunak highlights that officers have faced a 20 per cent real-terms pay cut since 2010 which is having an impact on morale, on their ability to pay household bills and on their mental health.

Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom said: “Our members put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities but they don’t feel recognised or respected by the Government.

“We’ve seen policing change over the last two years with ever more demands placed on officers by the pandemic, by new and emerging crimes, and by the fact we’re seen as the service of last resort.

“Now is the time to recognise officers’ sacrifices and their dedication to the job with a real-terms pay increase in Wednesday’s Spring Statement.

“Anything below the rate of inflation would be a slap in the face for our members.”

The letter has been written by national Federation secretary Alex Duncan and copied to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel.

It says: “It’s been an incredibly tough two years for police officers dealing with significant extra demands posed by the Covid pandemic. Alongside these challenges, since 2010, police officers have faced increasing workloads and a staggering real-terms cut in their pay of 20 per cent.

“There is now little difference between the hourly wage of a new starter and the national living wage. All the evidence suggests this is having a crippling effect on morale across the police service.

“All the evidence shows that the public are on our side, with recent polling showing that four in five people support a pay rise for police officers at the next opportunity. A similar proportion say that police officers are important to the fabric of their communities, and they understand how dangerous being a police officer can be.

“Use the Spring Statement to demonstrate that your Government actually does respect police officers.”

Read the full letter.