Federation leaders have warned that police anger over a pay freeze could see officers enforce a go-slow on 999 calls or abandon their guns on VIP duty.
The Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents 130,000 rank and file officers, said last week that it had no confidence in the Home Secretary Priti Patel after she declined to finance a yearly pay increase.
Banned from strike action by law, officers are enraged that other public servants such as firefighters and NHS staff have been given increases.
They’re now considering work to rule measures such as an overtime ban, armed officers handing back firearms to return to normal policing or patrols driving inside speed limits to answer emergency calls.
Ken Marsh, chair of the Metropolitan Police Federation, told a newspaper outlet that if they want to keep exploiting people, they’re going to come unstuck in the end and that they’ve got to that point now.
He said, why are the fire brigade worthy of a 1.5 per cent pay increase and the police don’t justify anything? The answer was that they could go on strike, they’ve got a union and they’ve got power.
He said that they’ve had a six per cent pay rise in 10 years, and he said that there are hundreds and hundreds of armed officers in London who look after every MP and that they don’t have to do that. They’re not forced to carry a gun, they can say that they want to go back to the borough tomorrow, see you later, and hand in their blue ticket, but that they protect everything.
Ken Marsh continued, who tells an officer they have to drive a car as fast as they can and put their life on the line to get to a call? They don’t have to do that, they can go at 30 mph.
He said, who tells an officer they have to come in an hour before they’re meant to commence work and usually they stay half an hour after? It’s called goodwill and it’s what they do, but that everything’s on the table now.
Officers are organising a day of action on Tuesday in Whitehall, where they will present a petition to Chancellor Rishi Sunak at No 11.
Labour’s Jacqui Smith was the only other Home Secretary to face a Police Federation supported vote of no confidence by police when she refused to backdate a pay award, but then politicians intoxicated on power appear to screw up everything they put their hands on, including the police who protect them and their electorate.
And many of our politicians aren’t there for the politics, they’re there for the pay, pensions, perks, power and unfettered access to taxpayer-funded expenses trough, and then when they’re faced with a national emergency, they fall to pieces because they’ve no idea what to do or how to cope.
To be fair, the police are scarcely a quarter of the staffing levels they used to be, so how can they possibly do the job without the numbers? And however bad things are, they can always get more serious.
The police have been consistently underfunded, cut, reduced and left without inadequate resources to do their jobs properly after a decade of Tory administration, so next time you need help, don’t call them, they probably won’t respond, and if they went any slower, they would be going backwards.