Dunfermline Press

Police officers are being left feeling undervalue­d


NNIN Scotland, arrangemen­ts for police officer pay are separate to those outlined in the Scottish Government’s public sector pay policy.

They are instead negotiated through the Police Negotiatin­g Board, which comprises Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority and the Scottish Government on the ‘ official side’, and officer associatio­ns, such as the Scottish Police Federation on the ‘ staff side’.

The SNP government has consistent­ly let down our police service, allowing officer numbers to fall to their lowest level in 14 years.

The SNP justice secretary has confirmed that Police Scotland is now operating on a funding model which assumes that 16,600 officers will be employed, which is around 600 fewer than the SNP’s now abandoned pledge to have 1,000 more police officers on the streets compared to 2007.

Staff associatio­ns have warned that this year’s financial settlement from the SNP government amounts to a £ 74 million cut in Police Scotland’s budget.

This is despite the SNP receiving record amounts of funding from the UK Government through the block grant.

Police officers are in the unique situation of being unable to take industrial action like those in other sectors.

The SNP government should not exploit that fact to offer a pay deal below what they deserve.

The initial offer from the official side of the Police Negotiatin­g Board was unacceptab­le to the staff side.

The Scottish Police Federation have asked for an 8.5 per cent rise, which may not be unreasonab­le when compared to settlement­s which have agreed with other public sector workers.

Of course, any agreement must be within the budgetary limits of Police Scotland but given that the SNP government appear to have agreed to a permanent reduction in the number of officers, that should free up extra resources.

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