New performance related pay plans for officers are a ‘backwards’ step likely to cause divisions in the service, Gloucestershire Police Federation is warning.

The proposals, backed by the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs Council, could see major reform of police pay, working patterns and officer recruitment and deployment.

Mike Cunningham, Chief Executive of the College of Policing, suggested change could be a ‘quid pro quo’ agreement in return for extra police funding.

Critics say it will lead to a target focussed, payment for arrests culture among officers.

Gloucestershire Police Federation Chairman Mike Harrison fears officers will take on roles just for the pay it offers.

“Introducing performance related pay for the police Service could be a step backwards creating divisions between departments and staff,” he said. 

“Officers could potentially look towards seeking out certain roles not because they want to provide a service, but because they can’t afford to live on the pay they are on. 

“All too often we see staff struggling to make ends meet and this plan would not assist that.”

Mike added:

“I appreciate it is only being suggested at this time, but how does he (Mr Cunningham) suggest performance is measured when we have such a diverse workforce, it is not as simple as gauging it on arrest rates, attendance at incidents or cases dealt with.

“We already have a PDR system which is there to measure performance and procedures to deal with underperforming staff, so is he suggesting if an officer’s performance dips we refuse them a pay rise?”

Plans to introduce degree level entry for new officers and apprenticeships are also on the table at the College of Policing.

“It’s interesting they are saying that they need to be responsive to the millennial generation to ensure policing is sufficiently attractive for talent from all backgrounds,” Mike said.

“But degree level entry and apprenticeships have the potential to make the service unattractive to many people.

“I think it would potentially put people off applying – we’ll miss a swathe of potential talent out there such as former service personnel and people with genuine life experience that doesn’t come with a qualification.”