Minister outlines plans to make police feel 'valued and supported' after pay freeze anger

27 July 2021, 08:49 | Updated: 27 July 2021, 19:36

By Sophie Barnett

Crime and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse told LBC there are "other things" than pay which the government can do to make officers feel supported.

Nick Ferrari challenged the Conservative MP for North West Hampshire on his claim that police officers feel "supported and valued", following a vote of no confidence for the Home Secretary by the Police Federation over a pay freeze.

Mr Malthouse said he understood the decision on pay was "a tough one" and appreciated the "disappointment and anger".

"Don't forget officers at the lower end of the scale are getting a pay rise, and any officer who is not at the top of their pay bank will get progression pay, which is equivalent to about 2%," he said.

"But look, the treasury have got to balance the ability of the private sector to pay with the services we want from the public sector. And that was a finely balanced decision that was taken."

Mr Malthouse said there are other things that can be done to make police officers "feel valued and supported".

He said later in the year the police covenant is coming and will look at wellness, safety and family support.

Nick Ferrari challenges Kit Malthouse on policing pay rise
Nick Ferrari challenges Kit Malthouse on policing pay rise. Picture: LBC

Mr Malthouse said this will ensure police officers feel they are being "looked after physically and mentally as they do their challenging job".

"Obviously we are making sure there are lots more of them to shoulder the burden more widely, and there's lots we can do," he added.

The Beating Crime Plan, many details of which were published in the media at the weekend, sets out plans to extend electronic tagging, and in Wales a trial of tags that detect alcohol in offenders' sweat.

A summit will be held later in the year to boost opportunities for prison leavers to get jobs, and the Government will aim to recruit 1,000 ex-offenders into the Civil Service by 2023.

Mr Malthouse said he recognises the decision not to increase pay was tough, but it is their job to take these "difficult decisions".

"What I'm trying to say here is it's not all bad news," he continued.

"There's lots of good stuff happening in policing, we've had two of the biggest financial settlements in some time over the last years, we know there are another 8,000 police officers to come in allocations going forward, and we are making huge strives on the primary mission - which is dealing with crime and disorder."

The government's new Beating Crime Plan will see the creation of league tables for 101 and 999 call answering times so the public can see how quickly their local force is when responding to calls for help.

The strategy, published as the Prime Minister was said to be keen to "crack on" following his time in self-isolation, also includes a permanent relaxing of conditions on the use of Section 60 stop and search powers, the intensification of efforts against county lines drug gangs, and a £17 million package to persuade young people who go to A&E with a stab wound or have contact with police to stay away from violence.