Derbyshire crime tsar fears neighbourhood policing could become 'nostalgic memory'

Stock picture.
Stock picture.

Derbyshire's crime tsar has said he fears neighbourhood policing could become a 'nostalgic memory'.

Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, made the comment after the Government announced the end of a one per cent cap on public sector pay rises in place since 2010.

This means prison officers will receive an average 1.7 per cent rise in 2017-18 while police pay will increase by two per cent.

However, there will be no new money for pay hikes in this financial year, meaning bosses will have to fund the wage increases out of existing budgets.

Mr Dhindsa said: "I wholeheartedly support an increase in pay for our hard-working officers and staff - but paying for it will have to come from essential reserves that we already have earmarked to meet future commitments.

"The police service is already critically wounded in financial terms which makes an additional, unbudgeted pressure mid-way through the financial year a harsh body blow.

"We have made it clear that our financial sustainability is under threat and that any additional budgetary pressures will inevitably lead to fewer officers.

"I'm concerned that neighbourhood policing could become a nostalgic memory - I know this is not what members of the public expect or deserve.

"This one-off police bonus has merely led to more uncertainty.

"Officers want to know what their pay packets will look like in two or three years' time and I need to know how much that is going to cost me."

A Home Office spokesman said: "This award strikes a fair balance for police forces, officers and taxpayers.

"We believe it is affordable within the current police funding settlement.

"The independent pay review body and the police’s independent inspectorate have both highlighted the potential for further efficiencies in the police."