Boris Johnson will receive a letter from the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales outlining officers’ fury at a pay freeze and criticising the government’s new Beating Crime Plan.
John Apter is to deliver the document to Downing Street as the prime minister prepares to unveil more details of the government’s refreshed crime strategy.
In the letter, the federation criticise the government’s new plan as “old ideas presented as new” and stress police officers’ fury at a pay freeze for those earning more than £24,000.
The federation passed a no-confidence motion in Home Secretary Priti Patel last week
The federation, which represents more than 130,000 officers from the rank of constable to chief inspector, says “a total reset of police-government relations” is needed.
It adds that officers only knew about the “so-called Beating Crime Plan” by reading it in a newspaper article at the weekend.
“We don’t need old ideas presented as new, we need genuine investment for the whole of the criminal justice system and genuine consultation over new ideas. Without that, this is just another ill-thought out initiative,” the letter states.
“Police officers are sick of gimmicks. Sick of underfunding. Sick of mixed messaging putting police at risk. Sick of government contempt for police. It’s time for a total reset of police-government relations.”
Last week, the federation passed a motion of no confidence in the home secretary amid a row over pay.
The government announced that most officers will receive no increase while NHS staff will receive 3% and firefighters and local government workers 1.5%.
The federation says officers were forced to take risks during the pandemic ‘without proper PPE’
Subsequently, the federation left the Police Remuneration Review Body which advises the government on pay.
“This is about much more than money, though for many the offer of a zero per cent pay rise, after all the police has been through in helping deal with the pandemic, was the final straw,” the letter continues.
“It is about the risks you asked us to take – which we did, because it is our duty – without proper PPE.
“It is about the endlessly changing and confusing COVID legislation which we were expected to police – which we did, because it is our duty.
“It is about your mixed messaging and lack of understanding of our role, which combined to put many of our members in invidious positions which led to them being abused and attacked.
“It is about the failure, despite the promises of the home secretary, to take seriously our request that police officers should be given early priority for vaccination.
Medical unions have also criticised the 3% offer for NHS workers
“It is about the very strong feeling we have, not least when the prime minister and home secretary spoke at our annual conference, that the warm words flow easily, but the actions that show genuine support for the police do not.”
The Home Office said the home secretary has consistently demonstrated her commitment to supporting officers.
“We are recruiting 20,000 extra officers, 8,771 already in place, increased taxpayer funding for policing by up to £600 million and gave forces £200 million to meet unforeseen costs of the pandemic,” a spokesperson for the department said.
“This is in addition to enhancing protection of the police, increasing sentencing for assaulting officers and investment in equipment. The economy has been significantly impacted by the pandemic, with pressures on public finances and we must protect jobs and ensure fairness.”
The 3% pay rise from the government to NHS workers in England has also been heavily criticised as “paltry”, “appalling” and “shambolic” by union leaders.
Those receiving the increase, which is backdated to April 2021, include nurses, paramedics, consultants, dentists and salaried GPs.
The government says that for the average nurse, this will mean an additional £1,000 a year. And the extra sum is expected to equate to around £540 for cleaners and porters.
Unite national officer for health, Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, described recommendation as “grossly inadequate and underwhelming”.