Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd has rejected a call by the Home Secretary to slash pay for new police officers.
If implemented, the proposals would have seen the starting salary for probationary constables cut by £4,000.
But Tony says he has carefully budgeted to recruit new constables at the current salary, and the modest savings the proposals would generate would not outweigh the significant effect it would have on police morale.
Tony said: “The UK has the best police service in the world, and you have to value the people you are recruiting.
“I want no part of this plan to slash starting salaries and it will therefore not be happening for police officers in Greater Manchester. This year we plan to recruit 50 new officers and I have to balance carefully the relatively modest saving this would make with the real impact it would have on the morale of our officers and staff.
“These men and women regularly put their lives on the line to keep us safe. It’s right they get a decent wage and I’m not going to slap them in the face by saying they aren’t worth it.
“We also want to attract recruits from a diverse cross section of Greater Manchester society. But whether they have relevant experience in other careers, or have come from university, start-up salaries need to be competitive.”
Ian Hanson, chair of the Greater Manchester Police Federation, added: “’I am very pleased with the decision that the PCC has made on this very important matter. Mr Lloyd has correctly identified that our police officers do a difficult and extremely dangerous job and deserve to be properly rewarded for what they do on behalf of the people of Greater Manchester.
“We understand the difficult times that we are living in, but the Government’s plans to slash the salaries of those at the most junior end of the service is miserly in the extreme and will only serve to make the service less attractive to candidates from all the diverse backgrounds that make up our communities.
“In making this decision Mr Lloyd has shown that even after such a short time in office he has grasped the realities of what it is like to be a police officer at the sharp end. Perhaps those who made this ridiculous policy decision in Whitehall would do well to follow his example of listening to police officers and responding to the needs of our communities.”