Police Federation condemn ‘pretty mean’ pay rise

The man was assaulted by four other men on Sunday
The man was assaulted by four other men on Sunday

The Police Federation has described the idea of a 1% pay rise for officers as “pretty mean”.

The body – which represents roughly 6,500 members – said that such a rise is merely “the bare minimum” it believes officers should get.

It made the comments in a statement on Thursday night, in which it said that the justice minister Claire Sugden had accepted the recommendations of a pay review organisation.

Its chairman Mark Lindsay had said such a rise “would do little to restore pay scales which have declined by about fifteen percent in real terms in the past six years”.

He said: “The headline increase of £321 for a constable has to be viewed against increases in national insurance and pension contributions.

“These elements have the effect of making the one percent rise in pay look derisory and pretty mean.

“We presented a body of evidence to the Police Remuneration Review Body to support our claim for a pay increase of 2.4%.”

He said a 1% rise “is 1% better than nothing at all”.

But he added: “It is the bare minimum. Our officers have taken a drubbing.”

Mr Lindsay cited attacks on officers and the psychological illnesses many of them suffer to support his argument that the pay offer was “close to insulting”.

He concluded: “The men and women I represent are the most flexible workforce you could find.

“They plug gaps in the service at a minute’s notice and are always ready to rush into harm’s way for the right reasons.

“Frankly, they deserved better than one percent.”

Last month, chief constable George Hamilton had apologised to officers after telling saying on Twitter that those experiencing problems with the job should “dry your eyes”.

He later added that he was “hugely proud” of the “complex and challenging” work which his officers undertake.