By Max Clarke
The results of the first part of a comprehensive review of police pay and conditions designed to improve service for the public and maximise value for money were published today.
The independent study, commissioned by Home Secretary Theresa May in October, will help bring modern management practices into policing and increase operational flexibility for the country's 43 territorial forces.
The review was led by former Rail Regulator Tom Winsor, a partner at global law firm White & Case. He was supported by former West Midlands Chief Constable Sir Edward Crew and leading labour market economist Professor Richard Disney.
The review found that police officers are comparatively well paid, 10 to 15 per cent higher than some other emergency workers and the armed forces, as well as up to 60 per cent higher than the average local earnings in regions such as Wales and the North East.
In the short term, Tom Winsor recommends that a power to make officers compulsorily redundant is not necessary. This makes police officers unique in the public sector and this protection comes at a price, namely:
* suspension of all chief officer and superintendent bonuses;
* abolition of the £1,212 Competence-Related Threshold Payment (CRTP);
* abolition of the discredited Special Priority Payments (SPP), of up to £5,000;
* freezing progression up the pay scale for two years for all officers and staff; and
* savings of up to £60 million in the annual overtime budget.
Introducing the report, lead reviewer Tom Winsor said:
"I have always had immense respect for police officers and staff and the vital work they do. Every day those on the frontline can face difficult and dangerous situations and throughout this review, I have been guided by the overriding principle of fairness - fairness to individual police officers and staff, and fairness to the taxpayer.
"These recommendations will allow the police to provide a more efficient, economical and effective service to the public while providing officers and staff with a fairer pay deal.
"People should be paid for what they do and how well they do it and the service needs modern management tools to operate with the greatest efficiency and economy in a time of considerable national financial pressure and restraint."
The projected savings and costs arising from this review suggest that if implemented from September 2011, these recommendations will produce net savings of £485 million over three years.
Other key recommendations include the reinvestment of £635 million targeted at the frontline, including: officers who work unsocial hours should receive an extra 10 per cent of their basic pay; and a new Expertise and Professional Accreditation Allowance of £1,200 for most detectives, firearms, public order and neighbourhood policing officers.