'Final nail in the coffin' for new police officers
A £4,000 cut in starting pay for police constables has been described as the "final nail in the coffin" by the group representing rank and file officers.
Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday announced that she has accepted recommendations on reform made by the Police Arbitration Tribunal and will overhaul pay, conditions and allowances to save £1 billion.
The starting salary for new recruits with no policing experience will become £19,000, but £22,000 for more experienced officers, such as those who have worked as special constables or Police Community Support Officers. The current starting salary is £23,000.
Avon and Somerset Police Federation chairman Kev Phillips, who officers and staff, said: "To be blunt – this is the final nail in the coffin for the police service. This will not only affect the people looking to join the force straight from school, it will also affect vast swathes of the population who might have skills and experience that would make them good officers. For example, if you're a bit older and married with children, there's no way you would be able to afford to live off that sort of salary."
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From a peak of about 3,400 officers, there are now fewer than 3,000 on the Avon and Somerset force.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens, left, said: "It's vital that despite the reform I support the constabulary in recruiting the best quality candidates for Avon and Somerset. We want to make sure police officers with the right skills and experience are paid appropriately, so we continue to encourage excellence."