The Police Federation has said that the £4,000 reduction in the starting rate for new officers is ill-conceived and fails to reflect the dangers and demands inherent in the job.
Home Secretary Theresa May has accepted recommendations on reform made by the Police Arbitration Tribunal, following last year’s Winsor review into pay, conditions and allowances.
Mrs May said she was "continue our programme to modernise police pay and conditions so that they are fair to both officers and the taxpayer.”
“They include measures to retarget pay to reward contribution, increase local flexibility and make important structural changes to enable further reform.”
In a statement the Police Federation of England and Wales said:
“In advising the Winsor Review to recommend this reduction in pay Professor Disney compared police officers to other workers who were paid average earnings at similar levels. Disney also looked at occupations which he considered might 'in the public eye' be seen as comparable.
“As pay research organisation Incomes Data Services (IDS) stated, pay comparisons between jobs should be based on their characteristics, not on jobs with similar average pay.”
Under the changes, the starting salary for recruits would be £19,000. Those with experience as special constables or PCSOs will start on £22,000.
The Police Federation also warned that changes that will allow officers redundant, which Mrs May has deferred, could threaten the impartiality of the police.
“The power to make police officers redundant would directly conflict with the Office of Constable.
“The doctrine of the independence of the Office of Constable was given its clearest expression by Lord Denning in 1968, when he stated that police officers are ‘answerable to the law and to the law alone.’
“As office-holders, police officers are empowered to resist unlawful orders as well as any undue political pressure.
“The power already exists within Police Regulations to dismiss officers for professional misconduct or unsatisfactory performance.
“However, if an officer is to exercise his or her duties for the benefit of society and free from compromise, they must be confident that their actions will not be held against them and mark them out for selection for compulsory severance in the future.”