Chair’s praise for officers as Fed calls for ‘thank you’ payment

1 February 2021

Police officers should be given a one-off “thank you” payment to recognise their exceptional efforts during the pandemic, says the chair of South Wales Police Federation.

Steve Treharne was commenting after the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) made its annual submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) with the Superintendents’ Association. 

The Federation wants the review body to back its call for the ‘thank you’ payment in addition to a three per cent pay rise.

Steve said: “I think it is hard to over-estimate the exceptional efforts of police officers during the pandemic. They have had all the same pressures of other people – anxieties about their health, their families, possibly home schooling, looking after elderly or vulnerable family members and worrying about their household incomes.

“But, in addition, they have also been putting their own health at risk while carrying out a role where it is not always possible to maintain social distancing and also facing the vile reality of people spitting and coughing over them while claiming to have the virus.

“Yet, despite all these challenges, and the additional difficulty of adapting to constantly changing Government guidance, they have done everything they can to maintain policing services and work with the public to help protect the NHS during this crisis.”

He added: “Their efforts should be recognised with this ‘thank you’ payment.”

Alex Duncan, national Federation secretary, said asking for an increase in officer pay after the public sector pay freeze announcement may seem pointless but was necessary.

He explained: “Police officers have been at the forefront of this pandemic and continue to put themselves and their families at risk, working long hours every day to keep the public safe during these unprecedented times.”

The Federation also questions the Government’s pay freeze decision when the Spending Review awarded forces with budgets to include officers being recognised for their work during the pandemic.

Alex added: “The Home Secretary states in the remit letter that the Government only took that decision in extraordinary circumstances but this is the fifth out of seven PRRB rounds that vital evidence has been completely disregarded, 

“Vital work goes into informing submissions made to the PRRB and it is disheartening to see this being ignored time and time again. You cannot blame us for questioning whether this process is effective.”

The Federation will seek the three per cent pay rise for all officers and a ‘thank you’ payment on the basis that an uplift is feasible and that the private sector has rewarded key workers with a similar payment.