PCC Philip Seccombe labels plan to draw police pay rise from existing local budget 'unsustainable'

Philip Seccombe
Philip Seccombe

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe has welcomed Government plans to lift the police pay cap, but spoke out after discovering the pay rise will take the equivalent of 12 police officers' salaries from the existing local policing budget.

The Government announced plans to lift the long-running one per cent cap on public sector pay increases from next year.

It was revealed that police officers will receive a 1 per cent pay increase plus a one-off one per cent bonus for 2017-18.

For Warwickshire Police, the pay increase of one per cent plus the cost of bonuses, would equal around £500,000 in the first year.

This is the equivalent of the cost of the salaries of around 12 police officers.

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said a more sustainable solution is needed: “The increase in pay and the bonus award announced by the Government is more than merited by the police officers who do so much to protect our communities here in Warwickshire.

“We have seen many occasions where they have gone above and beyond the call of duty in order to protect the public and I think this award is a welcome recognition of that by the Government.

“However, decisions to award additional pay now and in the future have an inevitable impact on policing budgets locally, which have been planned on the basis of the one per cent budget cap being in place.

“The Government has said that this year’s pay award will be funded within our existing budgets, which means that we are unexpectedly now having to find an additional £500,000 this year.
“While this is can be accommodated in the short term, I will be continuing to press the case with ministers that a more sustainable, longer-term solution is needed to guarantee fair funding for all police forces into the future.”

On Monday, September 11, Downing Street announced it would be ending the one per cent public sector pay cap after seven years.

Initially, thousands of prison officers and police officers were offered a pay rise.

Later on Theresa May’s official spokesman confirmed the move signaled the end of the public sector pay cap. A complete announcement on next year’s pay for public sector workers will be made in the Budget in November.

Controversy unfolded when the Government announced the increases in pay for public sector workers would have to be found in local budgets.

Some, including Philip Seccombe, have argued this is unsustainable, although the Government argues that local police forces have over £1.8 billion in reserve.