Jan 15 2013
Fears over the future of policing have been fuelled as the Home Secretary approved a radical shake-up of officers' pay that will see salaries for new starters slashed by almost 20%.
Theresa May is to press ahead with a package of far-reaching reforms, which will include cutting annual pay for new police constables by £4,000 to £19,000.
The Police Federation warned the pay packet failed to reflect the demands of the job, while Labour said forces would struggle to recruit officers with the right skills.
"There is a real worry that the proposed starting salary for all police officers will damage the ability of police forces to recruit officers of the right skills and experience," David Hanson, shadow policing minister, said.
The shake-up was masterminded by former rail regulator Tom Winsor following an 18-month review, which sparked outrage among tens of thousands of rank-and-file officers.
Mrs May said the changes were part of a programme to "modernise police pay and conditions so that they are fair to both officers and the taxpayer".
Following the recommendations of the Police Arbitration Tribunal (PAT), she also approved plans to bring in a national on-call allowance of £15-a-session for officers sent out of their area to help other forces.
But a special bonus - known as a competence-related threshold payment (CRTP) - will be phased out over the next three years. The CRTP - once dubbed "grab a grand" because it is worth up to £1,200 a year for officers - faced criticism for being paid out too regularly.
Meanwhile, plans to bring in compulsory redundancies across all ranks will be held back for further negotiation among police staff associations and their employers.
Steve Williams, chair of the Police Federation, said the salary for new officers is "ill conceived and fails to reflect the dangers and demands inherent in the job". He added that officers were "disappointed" but accepted the Home Secretary's decision was binding on them.