Police officers 'forced to go to food banks' as federation demands better pay

Police officers are being forced to use food banks after not having a pay rise in 11 years, Staffordshire Police Federation has complained.

Glyn Pattinson, the secretary of Staffordshire Police Federation, bemoaned the fact officers cannot legally strike and said policing "cost of living strikes" was "an irony".

Mr Patterson demanded the Government improve the pay and conditions of its members.

He said: "“There’s a certain irony to the fact officers’ pay has been decimated over the last 11 years, that we can’t legally strike to improve our pay but we’ll be expected to police picket lines in other sectors.

"We’re not criticising people for exercising their legal right to strike – but it’s a right that our members don’t enjoy. Instead, the reality for our members is that inflation is soaring, their pay is frozen and they have had a 20 per cent real terms drop in income."

"It’s shameful that we’re hearing stories of officers struggling to make ends meet, to afford the basics, and even going to food banks."

He added: ""That can’t be right for colleagues who were rightly lauded as heroes during the pandemic. They deserve much more, starting with a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work; work which can see them putting their lives on the line to protect their communities."

Steve Hartshorn, chair of the national Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), confirmed some federation branches are handing out food vouchers to help officers cope with the rising cost of living.

He said: "The police officers of our country are not asking the Government for a favour. They are asking for their rightful entitlement, fair pay."

Tiff Lynch, the deputy chair of PFEW, added: "All we want is fair pay. Pay that reflects the unique role we play in society, the risks we face and, let us not forget, police officers all too often pay the ultimate price when serving their communities.

"We also need a truly independent pay mechanism and longer-term funding settlements that will allow police leaders to effectively plan policing services."

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