May expected to back police pay cut

Wimbledon Guardian: A proposal to reduce the starting salary for police constables by 4,000 pounds to 19,000 pounds is expected to be accepted A proposal to reduce the starting salary for police constables by 4,000 pounds to 19,000 pounds is expected to be accepted

The Home Secretary is to respond to proposed reforms of police conditions that include a salary cut for new starters and the introduction of compulsory redundancies.

Rail regulator-turned-police watchdog Tom Winsor enraged tens of thousands of officers last year with his proposed reforms, most of which have been accepted.

Theresa May is expected to accept a proposal to chop the starting salary for police constables by £4,000 to £19,000 when she responds to the second stage of Mr Winsor's 18-month review.

However, plans to bring in compulsory severance across all ranks may be put back after a police pay committee recommended more time is given to considering the move.

The Police Arbitration Tribunal last year said it agreed with the recommendation to cut starting pay for constables but deferred a decision on compulsory severance to allow further negotiations.

Mrs May was heckled, booed and jeered at the Police Federation's annual conference last year, just a week after some 30,000 officers marched through central London in protest over Mr Winsor's report.

Mr Winsor, who took up the role of Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary three months ago, said the current pay system, which was based on a 1920s design of rewarding years of service, should be replaced with one that recognised merit instead.

He called for a new educational requirement to be brought in, with applicants needing the equivalent of three A-levels at grades A to C.

Mr Winsor also called for direct entry to be introduced to the police service, giving exceptional applicants the chance to rise from civilian to inspector in just three years and potentially by the age of 24. Successful businessmen and women, along with members of the armed forces and the security services, should all be encouraged to apply to the fast-track scheme, Mr Winsor said.

Among the 121 recommendations, the report also said there should be higher pay for more demanding jobs, pay linked to skills and performance rather than length of service, and an allowance for working unsocial hours, defined as outside 8am to 6pm. It also called for the pension age for officers to be raised to 60, in line with Lord Hutton's recommendations.

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