HOME Secretary and Witham MP Priti Patel has defended the Government’s decision not to give police officers a pay rise.

Paul Griffiths, president of the Police Superintendents’ Association, said the organisation will withdraw from the pay review system and there are plans to mount a challenge against it.

Under current plans, NHS staff will receive a three per cent pay increase, and firefighters and local government workers will get 1.5 per cent, while police officers who earn more than £24,000 will get nothing.

Mr Griffiths accused the Government of failing the police service.

But Ms Patel said: “The pandemic deepened the disparity between public and private sector wages – many private sector workers lost jobs or saw their wages seriously reduced.

“This meant the Chancellor could not justify an across-the-board pay increase for public sector workers.

“He asked the advice of the pay review bodies, proposing to raise pay in the NHS but pause pay rises elsewhere in order to protect jobs.

“This pandemic is something we have never experienced before – a truly seismic event which has affected many sectors and employers across the entire economy. It has meant even tougher choices than usual. None of us wanted to be in this situation.”