Damian Green insists pay and pensions deal is far better than private sector despite raft of changes to package.
The police pay and pensions package is â€œsignificantly betterâ€ than the private sector and reflects how officers are valued they are by the government, according to the Policing and Criminal Justice Minister.
Damian Green, (pictured), said that the remuneration deal officers have reflects of the dangerous and difficult job they face on a daily basis, adding that had the respect of society for their work.
Mr Green admitted that they government had to make â€œdifficultâ€ decisions over their pay and conditions but credited the service in adapting to the challenge of the economic downturn by maximising efficiency and preserving frontline resources.
In response to concerns about the morale of officers in the service the Policing Minister said: â€œIt is perfectly clear that we have gone through the most horrible worldwide economic experience since the 1930s.
â€œIt has been really difficult and I am not underplaying that at all.
â€œWe have had to do difficult things to pay and pensions which have caused a lot of anguish but it was necessary. The country was broken and we had to do something about it.
â€œI value the job officers do, as does the Home Secretary and so do the government. They are doing a difficult job very well and I am pleased that, from the figures, there are many people who still aspire to join the Police Service.â€
He added that, despite cuts over the past three years, there will still be the same number of officers as in the middle years of the last decade. â€œThis is not an unprecedented blow on numbers,â€ he said.
However, Police Superintendentsâ€™ Association President Irene Curtis argued that many officers were feeling undervalued, overworked and frustrated.
She praised the continued public service commitment displayed by officers and said, despite low morale levels, there was still some way to go before personnel gave up on the service.
â€œPeople are feeling that they are really stretched and they cannot work out how they can remove any more officers from the job they are doing,â€ she said.
â€œThis does affect peopleâ€™s morale but what they have got is that commitment to public service so they are still coming in day-in and day-out and doing their best to deliver a policing service to the public.
â€œWhile morale might be low, I think that is has still got some way to go before people shut up shop and stop playing ball.â€
Ch Supt Curtis was concerned at reports by some staff association members who felt bullied by their chief officers. â€œWe need to make sure that we know our staff, find out what their issues are and make sure we can do what we can to support them,â€ she added.
In a panel discussion about morale at the Police Superintendentsâ€™ Associationâ€™s annual conference, Association of Chief Police Officers President Sir Hugh Orde argued that morale had not changed since he joined the service more than 30 years ago.
He added: â€œMorale was at an all time low when I joined the service in 1977 and it has not got any higher since. The job today is 10 times better than the job was then.â€
Policing minister: â€˜Police pay better than private sectorâ€™