Police anger over pay freeze could see officers enforce a ‘go-slow’ on 999 calls or ditch their guns on VIP duty, their federation warns
- Police Federation of England and Wales said it had no confidence in Priti Patel
- Officers are incensed over other pay increases for other public servants like NHS
- They are now considering work-to-rule measures such as handing in firearms
Police anger over a pay freeze could see officers enforce a ‘go-slow’ on 999 calls or ditch their guns on VIP duty, their federation leaders have warned.
The Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents 130,000 rank-and-file officers, declared last week that it had no confidence in the Home Secretary Priti Patel after she refused to fund an annual pay rise.
Banned from strike action by law, officers are incensed that other public servants such as firefighters and NHS staff have been awarded rises.
Police officers are banned from strike action but are considering handing back firearms or responding slowly to 999 calls
They are now considering work-to-rule measures such as an overtime ban, armed officers handing back firearms to return to regular policing or patrols driving within speed limits to answer emergency calls.
Ken Marsh, chair of the Metropolitan Police Federation, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘If you want to keep abusing people, you’re going to come unstuck in the end and we’ve got to that point now.
‘You tell me why the fire brigade deserve a 1.5 per cent pay rise and the police don’t deserve anything?
‘I’ll tell you the answer straight away: it’s because they can go on strike, they’ve got a union and they’ve got power.
‘We’ve had six per cent [pay rise] in 10 years. Six per cent. We’ve got other things in our armoury as well.
‘There are hundreds and hundreds of armed officers in London who look after every MP. They don’t have to do that, they’re not forced to carry a gun, they can say they want to go back to the borough tomorrow, see you later, and hand in their blue ticket. Who protects everything that gets protected?’
Mr Marsh added: ‘Who tells an officer they have to drive a car as fast as they can, put their life on the line to get to a call?
‘They don’t have to do that, they can go at 30mph.
‘Who tells an officer they have to come in an hour before they’re meant to start work and normally they stay half an hour after? It’s called goodwill and it’s what we do …
‘But everything now is on the table.’
Officers are planning a ‘day of action’ on Tuesday in Whitehall, where they will deliver a petition to Chancellor Rishi Sunak at No11.
Labour’s Jacqui Smith was the only other Home Secretary to face a Police Federation-supported vote of no confidence by officers when she refused to backdate a pay award.
The Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents 130,000 rank-and-file officers, declared last week that it had no confidence in the Home Secretary Priti Patel after she refused to fund an annual pay rise
An emergency meeting of the Federation’s national council, which covers 43 regional branches, last week ‘overwhelmingly supported’ a vote of no confidence in Ms Patel and said it will withdraw support from the Police Remuneration Review Body which recommended the zero per cent pay rise.
Andy Berry, chair of the Devon and Cornwall Police Federation, added: ‘The police service is absolutely dependent on the goodwill of the officers, so if officers decided to follow the regulations and turn up for work at the appointed time, rather than early to sort their kit, or if they chose not to answer the phone when not on duty, it would make it difficult.’