A prominent police chief has spoken out and demanded better police pay as officers struggle to feed their children..
Essex Police Chief BJ Harrington said experienced officers and detectives cannot afford to go on much longer without fair pay.
The police chief said: ‘My colleagues are proud: they are not one to complain, but someone has to speak up for them and their families.
‘You can’t Taser the gas bill and you can’t handcuff the family food store at Lidl. And you can’t stop rising mortgage bills.
Speaking to 83 new recruits, Mr. Harrington revealed that more than 300 officers have asked permission to take up a second job to make ends meet while others leave the force.
Essex Police Chief BJ Harrington (pictured) said experienced officers and detectives cannot afford to go on much longer without fair pay.
Among those who resigned was a newly promoted sergeant who recently passed tough national investigative exams, only to resign after a few weeks.
Another officer quit to work in the family restaurant closest to his home, while a police father-to-be realized he couldn’t pay his bills on his police salary and quit to earn £250 a day scaffolding.
Police pay has fallen behind by 17% since 2000, recent figures from the Police Federation show.
The investigation found that Police pay has fallen almost 20 per cent below inflation between 2000 and 2022, meaning it has risen at barely half the rate of an average UK employee over the same period.
The study found that if these trends persisted over the next few five years, police pay would drop another four percent by 2027.
Mr. Harrington also shared images of a food bank at a county police station that is being run by colleagues to ensure their fellow officers have something to eat.
He said: ‘We are a team, and I’m very proud to see that, but it also breaks my heart that people who have put themselves in danger to catch the worst criminals have to trust their peers to go home. to a hot meal at the end of your shift.
The chief added that the police charitable fund has given out almost a quarter of a million pounds in the last two years.
Mr. Harrington revealed that the universities are running a food bank at a county police station to offer support to struggling officers. Pictured: A volunteer at a food bank in the North East of England.
He said: “Seeing 84 new officers take the oath to protect the communities of Essex is an incredibly proud moment, but there is no doubt that it is becoming increasingly difficult to retain the best new talent.”
‘Police pay has lagged other sectors by 17% since 2000 and this is too big a gap to simply ignore.
‘I need officers and staff in Essex to focus on helping people, keeping people safe and catching criminals. Not on whether they can afford to stay at work. You need to be able to afford to do your job.
He added: “The last police strike was in London in 1919, and no one working in the Essex police would want to go on strike, even if they could, it goes against our values.”
The police chief said it “breaks his heart” to see police officers “having to rely on their peers to be able to go home to a hot meal at the end of their shift” (file image)
Police Chief Harrington, who took office in 2018, said the problem they are seeing in Essex is people “quietly leaving” and “moving on” from their roles on the force.
He said: ‘We just have to stop this quiet erosion of talent and that means I just have to speak up while there’s still time to stop it.
Police pay has fallen behind by 17% since 2000, recent figures show (file image)
‘That’s why I’m speaking out now – we can recruit people from all walks of life, but if we lose great people we won’t be able to continue to provide the kind of service that Essex deserves.
‘In the last year, more than 300 colleagues have asked permission to take a second job or do unpaid work to improve their prospects in addition to their day job on the force. That can’t be right.
Mr Harrington added: ‘I hope that by speaking up, it will make others take notice. Precisely because officers carry out their duties without fuss or complaint, it is vitally important that you make a fuss and speak up.
‘I tell our decision makers not to ignore the 17% pay gap. That’s an impossibly big gap to bridge if you’re a seasoned officer who just can’t make ends meet.
“Please end the silence on this issue in Westminster and set out the plan to maintain the strength that the forces have built up in recent years, or risk losing it.”