Police jobs will not be lost in Cleveland due to the Government’s unfunded pay award for officers, thanks to the efforts of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
Cleveland PCC Barry Coppinger has criticised the Government for effectively cutting the police budget to fund a one off bonus for officers and has vowed to help Cleveland Police meet its new commitments without the need for job cuts.
Mr Coppinger believes police officers and staff should have been awarded a centrally funded pay rise that better reflected the job they do and has written to Prime Minister Theresa May urging her to reconsider what is in effect a cut to police budgets.
Mr Coppinger said: “It appears the Government is not providing the funding for this one-off bonus, which in Cleveland is likely to mean a half million pound cut to our available budget over the next year. Instead of robbing Peter to pay Paul, the Government should recognise the incredible job that police officers and police staff do and fund a realistic pay rise."
Mindful of the impact of the unfunded pay award, the PCC has agreed with Chief Constable Iain Spittal that this unfunded payment will not result in job losses. It has been agreed that either savings within the budgets under the control of the PCC and/or the use of the PCC’s reserves will be used to meet the cost.
Cleveland Chief Constable Iain Spittal said: “When the PCC and I met with the Policing and Fire Minister earlier in the year, we both stressed the point that police officers and staff have experienced real term reductions in their salaries over the past seven years and that we wanted to be able to pay them more for the very important role that they undertake.
“Police officers do a very difficult role and provide a huge contribution within local communities. However, we also made sure that we stressed that any increase beyond the budgeted one per cent needed to come with additional money. Although we both welcome any move to properly reflect the work of officers and staff through fair pay, we were both equally disappointed when no additional money was made available. I would like to thank the PCC for working to ensure that the money to fund the increase is found without the need for job losses.”