The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has spoken out in the police pay row insisting officers “deserve better”.
Martin Hewitt, chair of the NPCC, has written to Ms Patel after she confirmed police pay will be frozen.
His letter says: “Taken together with the continuing effects of a decade of austerity around officers’ pay, there is no question that properly rewarding our incredible people is now a significant issue of concern for chief constables.
“We simply believe they deserve better and that it is the responsibility of Government to address this across the forthcoming spending period.”
It continues: “For many it feels unfair and that their contribution is undervalued. And, unlike other parts of the public service, officers do not have the option of industrial action to make their case more strongly.
“As the Government makes spending decisions over coming months, we urge you to fund a settlement which properly reflects the important and complex work police officers do, and starts to address the pay shortfall.”
Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom has welcomed the NPCC’s stance.
“I think it is critically important that chief officers voice their support for the officers who day in, day out during this pandemic have done their best to maintain effective policing services in the most challenging of circumstances,” she said.
“Not only have they been committed to ensuring a ‘business as usual’ approach but they have also been doing their utmost to ensure the public complied with the Covid-19 regulations, despite rapid changes to guidelines. They were also subjected to assaults from members of the public including attacks by mindless individuals who weaponised the virus by spitting and coughing over them.
“Yet despite this, the Government has decided they are not worthy of any kind of pay rise, just as it refused to give them any kind of priority in the vaccine roll-out programme.
“Understandably, officers feel let down, they feel angry, and they feel they are being treated with contempt.
“I hope the Government fully grasps the strength of feeling within the police service and does something to repair the damage it has done.”