UK Politics

Police pay: Was the prime minister right about salaries?

Theresa May saying: A new police office in 2010 thanks to progression pay and annual basic salary increases and the increase in personal allowance... has actually seen an increase in their pay of over £9,000 since 2010, a real terms increase of 32%

The claim: A police officer starting in 2010 would, by now, have received a 32% increase in pay in real terms.

Reality Check verdict: That's right, but it is not representative of police officers as a whole.

Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons on Wednesday that a police officer who had started in 2010 would, by now, have seen their pay rise by 32% in real terms.

Now, 32% over seven years is 4% a year, which sounds high. The Police Federation initially said her statement was a "joke" and a "downright lie".

Downing Street gave the figures behind the claim. A typical police officer joining the force in 2010 would have earned £23,259, taking home £17,972 after deductions for tax and national insurance.

After seven years' service, the same officer would earn £35,478, taking home £27,405 after tax and national insurance. This is an increase of £9,433.

When you adjust for inflation, the increase is just under £6,000, which is indeed an increase of 32%.

The Police Federation confirmed that a new officer starting in 2010 would have earned about £23,000, rising to about £35,000 today.

But the Police Federation stressed that this was not a typical example and that those who had started in 2010 made up less than 4% of all officers.

It also said that most officers were now at top of their pay scale and so would not benefit from progression payments.


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