‘Pay rise may stop us hir­ing of­fi­cers’

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ

LAN­CASHIRE Con­stab­u­lary may not be able to hire ad­di­tional po­lice of­fi­cers af­ter the Gov­ern­ment promised a pay rise but of­fered no new fund­ing.

That is the warn­ing from Clive Grun­shaw, the county’s po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner, who says the pay in­crease will cost around £6.8m.

The Gov­ern­ment last week an­nounced a 2.5% pay rise for a range of public sec­tor work­ers in­clud­ing po­lice of­fi­cers, but has not put for­ward any new funds to sup­port the in­crease.

The an­nounce­ment comes on the back of plans to hire 20,000 new of­fi­cers across the coun­try, restor­ing po­lice num­bers to the lev­els seen in 2010 be­fore huge aus­ter­ity-era cuts.

Wel­com­ing the in­crease, Home Sec­re­tary Priti Pa­tel said she had promised to give po­lice ad­di­tional fund­ing, pow­ers and re­sources, adding: “This gov­ern­ment is back­ing the po­lice and as Home Sec­re­tary I will do every­thing in my power to en­sure our po­lice are fully sup­ported.”

But those claims came un­der fire from Mr Grun­shaw, who has pre­vi­ously crit­i­cised the un­fair al­lo­ca­tion of ad­di­tional of­fi­cers in favour of ar­eas which had suf­fered smaller cuts.

Re­act­ing to the pay in­crease, he said he was glad to see of­fi­cers be­ing re­warded but ac­cused the Gov­ern­ment of mak­ing a “smoke and mir­rors” an­nounce­ment.

Mr Grun­shaw said: “As al­ways with the Home Of­fice, the devil is in the de­tail. It is dis­ap­point­ing that the gov­ern­ment will seek to fund this pay rise and as­so­ci­ated costs through ex­ist­ing bud­gets. This means that Lan­cashire Con­stab­u­lary will have to find even more money out of its al­ready stretched bud­get so that the gov­ern­ment can keep its promises.

“It is es­ti­mated that this 2.5% in­crease will cost around £6.8m, which will have to be found by mak­ing savings else­where.”

Mr Grun­shaw said the changes are likely to have an im­pact on the force’s abil­ity to fund an in­crease in of­fi­cer num­bers.

“With­out gov­ern­ment fund­ing to meet these costs, it will be ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to de­liver the re­quired up­lift in of­fi­cer num­bers. Lan­cashire has the am­bi­tion and ca­pa­bil­ity to de­liver these of­fi­cers, but this am­bi­tion needs to be matched by the gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

“Lan­cashire needs a fair deal for po­lice fund­ing. For the gov­ern­ment [to] an­nounce a pay rise with­out ad­e­quate fund­ing shows how the gov­ern­ment will hap­pily give with one hand whilst tak­ing with the other.

“The Home Sec­re­tary must re­con­sider her stance and her fail­ure to prop­erly fund the po­lice in Lan­cashire.”

The gov­ern­ment has an­nounced a pay rise for po­lice, but of­fered no new fund­ing, Right, Clive Grun­shaw (pic­ture by James Jeb­son) and Priti Pa­tel

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.