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Pay cap increase 'could cost West Mercia Police 25 officers'

By Sophie Madden | Crime | Published:

Shropshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has said that a one per cent rise in public sector pay could mean the loss of 25 officers.

John Campion has said that though he thinks a rise in pay for officers is “deserved” it could cost West Mercia Police about £1 million.

Pay rises for all public sector workers have been capped at one per cent since 2013 – but many get separate yearly increases known as progression pay.

But it has now been announced that the Government will be scrapping the hold on pay increases.

Conservative Mr Campion said “Our hard working police officers carry out extremely challenging roles. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

“I think that the pay increase is deserved however, it is important that we are realistic and sensible about funding, ensuring it is used in the most appropriate way to protect communities.

“A one per cent pay increase, costs West Mercia around £1 million, the equivalent of around 25 officers.

“The funding has to come from somewhere and there is a risk that by using it for pay increases, it leaves gaps elsewhere, which could potentially lead to reductions in officer and staff numbers.

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“We need to ensure we continue to provide our communities with the level of service that they deserve and expect.”

The number of full-time officers in West Mercia has already dropped from 2,232 in 2010/2011 to 2,055 in 2016/17.

The force covers Shropshire, Hereford and Worcester.

Mr Campions comments come as the Labour PCC for the West Midlands, David Jamieson said a rise in the pay cap would cost his force 80 officers and £4 million.

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He has called for the Government to ‘fully fund’ the pay rises to prevent any job losses after it was indicated the current one per cent pay cap would be scrapped.

Yesterday ministers approved an average 1.7 per cent rise for prison officers and improvements for police pay totalling 2 per cent for 2017/18.

From next year, the Government will show "flexibility" in areas where there is evidence of problems with recruitment, retention and skills shortages, said the Prime Minister's official spokesman. Asked whether the introduction of flexibility meant that the cap was over, the spokesman said: "The answer is yes."

Sophie Madden

By Sophie Madden
@SMadden_Star

Senior reporter based out of the head office in Ketley covering the Telford area.

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