The Home Secretary was put on the spot over police pay at the PFEW annual conference.
In a question-and-answer session during the Manchester conference, Priti Patel heard powerful stories of how officers are struggling to make ends meet.
Rich Cooke, Chair of West Midlands Police Federation, angrily told the Home Secretary: “Our members have had our pay slashed. We’ve had our pensions ripped up.
“It’s about time you and your colleagues put your money where your mouth is and did something about the terrible state our colleagues are finding themselves in.”
Meanwhile North Wales Police officer Vicky Knight, who works in child protection, told Priti Patel: “I love my job but if I can’t pay my mortgage and can’t pay the fuel, my accountant advised me to leave the police, work 22 hours a week and claim benefits, and I will be better off. How can that be right?”
To applause from delegates, she added: “I get paid less than my local manager at Lidl…We are desperately struggling to do the job that we love, and make ends meet at home. We need you to be on our team.”
The Home Secretary thanked the officer, and said: “It illustrates so strongly and powerfully why we need to find solutions to pay issues and give you the support you rightfully deserve.
“It’s why I am here today. We have to move this forwards.
“You have that commitment from me. You absolutely do. Steve [Hartshorn] and I have our work to do.”
She continued: “None of this will happen overnight, but you have it from me that we will drive this forward and that is a commitment I give to you.”
Date posted: May 14, 2022