THE Cheshire Police Federation believes that a planned pay freeze for officers will damage morale among forces.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak today told the House of Commons that a wage rise for police officers will be ‘paused’, saying that he ‘could not justify an increase for all public sector workers’ – although those earning under £24,000 per year will get at least an extra £250.

Reacting to the news, the chairman of the Cheshire Police Federation Jamie Thompson said that praise for frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic now ‘seemed hollow and meaningless’.

Warrington Guardian:

Jamie Thompson

He said: “This announcement must be taken in the context of a decade of frozen pay and budget cuts, which now finds police officers being 18 per cent behind where they should be in terms of salary.

"If this was truly about austerity, this would be a pay freeze across the whole of the public sector.

“To separate one group from others shows this government’s true feelings towards policing, and makes all the praise we’ve had seem somewhat hollow and meaningless.

“Police officers have been on the frontline in the fight against this pandemic, working under the constant ebb and flow of legislation changes.

“I appreciate that Covid-19 has caused an economic downturn, however yet another pay freeze damages morale.”