Dangers of cutting Police pay

I wrote on this issue before. The main problem is that Gardai under financial pressure may be unable to resist the human frailties and take bribes or become corrupt. I am not a criminologist but it seems intuitive that pay cuts affect morale and that financial pressure is maximum in the 30s age group. I believe that Garda pay is an issue that should be treated separately from general public sector pay because of the potential consequences.

Police pay protesters may take to streets

Tens of thousands of police officers could take to the streets in the run-up to the royal wedding in a row over pay, rank and file leaders warned yesterday.

Police chiefs have disclosed that 28,000 jobs in forces throughout the country could be lost Photo: AFP/GETTY

By Mark Hughes and Tom Whitehead 10:00PM GMT 08 Mar 2011

Paul McKeever, the chairman of the Police Federation, said “nothing has been ruled out” as he criticised the Government after the publication of a review that could see pay cuts for 40 per cent of police officers.

Mr McKeever said police were being unfairly targeted for public sector cuts by the Government.

He said officers were being “bullied” by ministers, citing as evidence yesterday’s review by Tom Winsor, the existing two-year pay freeze, the 20 per cent budget cuts and potential changes to pensions.

His comments came after police chiefs disclosed that 28,000 jobs in forces throughout the country could be lost.

It sets the battleground for a row between rank and file officers and the Home Secretary which threatens to see officers take to the streets in protest once again.

Mr McKeever said the federation, which represents 140,000 rank and file officers, refused to rule out a protest march, similar to the demonstration in 2008 when 20,000 officers marched through London in protest at pay cuts.

No decision will be taken until after Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has reported to the Police Negotiating Board.

Miss May is to appear before the board on April 14 when she will disclose which recommendations from the report she wishes to endorse.

Mr McKeever said any protest action would be held “immediately after” Miss May reported to the board, creating the prospect of disruption in the fortnight before Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton on April 29.

He said officers felt “angry and disillusioned”. They were suffering from “sagging morale” after repeated cuts.

The federation chairman said the recommendations made by Mr Winsor, the former rail regulator, would set British policing back 40 years.

Mr McKeever said: “Police officers do not understand why they are being singled out. We are not asking to be treated differently we are asking to be treated the same.

“Police officers are being asked to take an unfair share of the burden.”

Asked directly if officers would walk out, he replied: “All bets are off. Clearly we have to work within the law. We do not have the right to strike and we think that is a factor in the way we are being treated.

“We are almost being bullied by a government that is riding roughshod over us.

“It diminishes the Government greatly if they are looking at a body of people working in the public sector and saying they are easy targets. That is bullying. I hope they are not following that route, but it certainly feels that way.”