Gloucestershire Police Federation fears a new performance-related pay plan for officers could affect their ‘discretion’ when dealing with incidents.

Police chiefs are soon to launch a three-month consultation on the changes which would see officers’ salaries judged by their ‘capability’ and ‘productivity’ rather than time served, as part of a move away from the current seven stages of police pay to four.

Under the plans, pay would be based on four stages: Training, Foundation, Competent, Advanced. 

It’s sparked fears of an arresting for cash culture seeping into the force and a return to the bad old days of force productivity league tables.

Gloucestershire Police Federation Chairman Mike Harrison said; “I personally thought we’d left league tables and figures behind many, many years ago.

“We’re against the idea. How do you measure performance? It could have an officer move to a role where they’re not out issuing tickets, arresting people, dealing with incidents. How are you going to measure their performance? What tables are they going to be judged against?

“It’s potentially going to take away the discretion of officers because if an officer is being judged on how many arrests they may make, how many tickets they may have, the discretion they have is going to go.”

“At present, an officer can speak to a member of the public, and they can deal with things different ways. It may well, unfortunately, force an officer into taking action where it’s something they wouldn’t normally do. It’s not the way forward.”

Chief Constable Matt Jukes highlighted the proposals at the recent Police Supers Conference. He said the way service rewards and recognises the contribution of its people through pay and in pay was a ‘critical tool’ for chiefs.

The NPPC hopes the new structure will encourage officers to stay on in the force, while productivity and capability will be benchmarked against the ‘P-Factor’ assessing officers against the antisocial hours they work and their exposure to risk and danger.

“The devil’s in the detail,” Mike added, “as long as the pay points are reflected as where they are now. When someone reaches point four, they’re on the equivalent pay as perhaps someone on point seven is now.

“What I wouldn’t want to see is officers pay cut dramatically to a level below pay grade 7. Financial issues are very hard-hitting for officers at the moment. If it reduces bureaucracy and gets them to a higher pay quicker, then that could only be good.”