A leading police federation figure has slammed £4,000 salary cuts for new officers as ‘absolutely disgraceful’.
Home secretary, Theresa May, ratified the decision to reduce starting salaries this week, meaning Thames Valley Police officers will now receive £21,000 (£2,000 of which is due to the south east allowance).
Thames Valley Police Federation chairman, Graham Smith, said: “For people to survive it means being an officer is going to be a life choice.
“It doesn’t reflect the demands, pressures and the expectations that the public have of us.
“It’s below the country’s average wage. The Government has just taken more money from police officers.”
Mr Smith said since the recommendation to cut salaries was made a year ago the force had numerous training officers reassessing their positions.
In May more than 40,000 officers marched in London against the report.
He added: “If you are 27 and you have two children and you have a career where you earn £26,000, are you going to lose £7,000 from your salary to be a police officer? The answer’s no.”
The decision has also seen pay brackets reduced from 10 to seven making it technically quicker to reach a higher salary of £36,000.
However, Mr Smith added there was no extra money involved in the pay brackets and that exams will be introduced as ‘obstacles’ to moving up.