NI gives Norfolk Police a ‘punch in the stomach’

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This is according to the Norfolk Police Federation

Andy Symonds, President of the Norfolk Police Federation

Author: Sharon PlummerPosted 8 hours ago
Last updated 8 hours ago

The increase in national insurance is a real blow to police officers, especially since it comes with a wage freeze, according to the Norfolk Police Federation.

The 1.25% increase in national insurance, which the government says is needed to pay for health and social care, follows a 0% pay hike for police officers.

Andy Symonds, chairman of the Norfolk Police Federation, said officers were struggling financially, with many being forced to turn to loan companies or organizations to help them manage their debts.

He said:

“The announcement of the increase in National Insurance is another punch in the stomachs of the police. My colleagues will not get any salary increases this year because the government has asked the PRRB – a supposedly independent salary review body – not to grant a salary increase to officers.

“So the increase in national insurance will come on top of the years of austerity and wage freezes to which agents have been subjected over the past 11 years. Let’s be honest, the cumulative impact over the years on agents’ take-home pay is extremely damaging.

“Officers have limited rights and cannot strike; we have been abused because of this fact. The human impact of this is that we have supported officers who needed loans from the Force Charity Fund or loan companies, to be able to get by. We orient our colleagues more towards organizations which support agents in the management of their debts.

Andy added that these financial difficulties added to the stress officers already faced in their jobs.

He said:

“It has an impact on the mental well-being of the agents. They already have a job that requires them to work hard from the moment they arrive at work until the end of their service.

“The demand is constant, and officers see and deal with extremely distressing incidents and regularly put themselves at risk. Add to the personal financial difficulties that many agents face, and it’s a perfect storm.

“Officers are caught between physical and mental exhaustion, but financially they have to work overtime to pay their bills. Yet we are seeing more and more officers turn down overtime because they need to be able to rest in order to be ready for the next set of demanding shifts. They then have to deal with the impact of the drop in that extra money on their personal finances.

“Police officers shouldn’t have these ever-increasing financial vulnerabilities because of the role they play in society.”

The Federation says other public sector workers received a pay rise this year, while police officers earning more than £ 24,000 received 0%, adding that to a cut in real pay, all the more that inflation is 2%.

John Apter, President of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) tweeted:

“Police services are underfunded and undervalued by this government … The government has lost the trust of my colleagues. “

The Police Federation hopes to bring these questions to Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is expected to address the police department at the Superintendent’s Conference next week.

He is also planning a campaign to show policymakers “how the system is stacked against the police,” Andy said.

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