Lincolnshire Police Federation warns pay award could force bosses to choose between officer numbers and public safety

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The Lincolnshire Police Federation has branded a proposed two per cent pay award as ‘derisory’ warning that the Government is making forces choose between officer numbers and public safety.

The warning comes as an open letter demanding answers from the Prime Minister and the Government on the pay award for police officers has been published by the ‘union’ representing rank and file officers from across the country, the Police Federation of England and Wales.

Jon Hassall, chairman of Lincolnshire Police Federation, said: “Our members are angry and forces have been put in an impossible situation. We feel the government has not been truthful and honest about the pay award given to officers, and that is insulting.

“The two percent awarded has to come from existing policing budgets which means forces may have to choose between officer numbers and public safety. That cannot be right.”

He continued: “Although I’m reassured from a conversation with the Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones, that there will be no reduction in officer or staff numbers over the coming 12 to 18 months, I feel the prospects beyond that are bleak.”

Mr Hassall warned: “Police officers serve the public, but also are the public. Many Lincolnshire officers have called to give up the one per cent ‘bonus’ element of this year’s pay award to protect the service they are proud to be a part of, yet at the same time many also need a substantial pay rise because of the effects of successive pay freezes and below inflation pay rises. Even that one per cent will make a substantial difference to those officers at the beginning of their careers.”

The open letter outlines failures of the Government and demands answers on a range of issues, asking for ‘the truth’ about crime figures, police numbers and claims of ‘extra’ officers.

The federation claims that crime is not falling, it is on the up and cybercrime has ‘exploded’. Officers are having to do more and more and references to extra police officers being on patrol are not actually ‘extra’ police officers.

Mr Hassall said: “They are the same officers doing longer hours, being called back in when they are off or being given extra responsibilities. It is all smoke and mirrors and double standards.

“The public have been fantastic at giving us support but they deserve better. Officers give all to become police officers but they are broken; unable to cope with the mental and physical demands placed upon them by having to work in depleted environments. This cannot be

right or fair on anyone – let alone the public.”

Mr Hassall said: “We want a properly funded and well-resourced police service. The public rightly want and expect this, which is why we have called for answers.”