Press release

Police pay and conditions review launches

Comprehensive review of police pay and conditions launched by government, to improve service for the public and maximise value for money.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The most comprehensive review of police pay and conditions in more than 30 years was launched by the government today, to improve service for the public and maximise value for money.

The independent study, announced by Home Secretary Theresa May, will help bring modern management practices into policing and increase operational flexibility for the country’s 43 territorial forces.

Former Rail Regulator Tom Winsor will head the review, supported by professional advice from former West Midlands Chief Constable Sir Edward Crew and leading labour market economist Professor Richard Disney.

The review will report to the Home Secretary in two parts, the first on short-term improvements to the service in February 2011, and the second on matters of longer-term reform in June 2011.

It will operate with three key objectives, laid out today by the Home Secretary:

  • use remuneration and conditions of service to maximise officer and staff deployment to frontline roles where their powers and skills are required
  • provide remuneration and conditions of service that are fair to, and reasonable for, both the taxpayer and police officers and staff
  • enable modern management practices in line with practices elsewhere in the public sector and the wider economy

The Home Secretary’s statement

The Home Secretary said:

‘It is vital we have a modern and flexible police service to meet the ever-changing demands placed upon it.

‘By bringing modern management practices to the police, this review will help ensure chief constables can deliver the frontline services people want, while providing the value for money that is so vital in the tough economic times we face.

‘I am very pleased Tom Winsor has agreed to lead this review. His experience of complex issues and multiple stakeholders, together with his reputation for independence, will be essential to the success of this review. Sir Edward Crew will also ensure operational expertise is brought to bear on this wide remit. We need radical solutions to improve policing - nothing will be off-limits in this review.’

The reviewer’s statement

Tom Winsor said:

‘I am very pleased to accept the Home Secretary’s invitation to lead this review. I look forward to working alongside police officers and their representatives, and others, as they strive to ready the police service for the challenges ahead.

‘I have always had immense respect for police officers and staff, and the vital work they do. Every day those on the frontline can face difficult and dangerous situations. Throughout this review, I shall be guided by the overriding principle of fairness - fairness to individual police officers and staff, and fairness to the taxpayer.’


Tom Winsor is now a partner in White & Case, the global law firm. The government is grateful for White & Case’s agreement to enable Mr Winsor to spend a proportion of his time in undertaking this important review.

He has a wide remit to consider all aspects of police pay and conditions. It will include scrutiny of allowances, overtime and the cost of officers working in other force areas.

The review will cover both police officers and civilian staff, including Police Community Support Officers. Its recommendations will be costed and be in great enough detail to be introduced quickly into the service.

Public contributions to the Cabinet Office’s spending challenge website - set to up to ask for ways of tackling Britain’s record deficit - included calls for the Home Office to look at police pay and conditions.

Notes to editors

In reaching its recommendations, the review must have regard to:

  • the tough economic conditions and unprecedented public sector deficit, and the government’s spending review
  • the resolution by the government that the public sector must share the burden of the deficit
  • the government’s policy on pay and pensions
  • analysis of the value of current remuneration and conditions of service for police officers and staff, as compared to other workforces
  • a strong desire from the public to see more police officers and operational staff out on the frontline of local policing
  • a recognition that there are also less visible frontline roles which require policing powers and skills in order to protect the public
  • the particular frontline role and nature of the Office of Constable in British policing, including the lack of a right to strike
  • parallel work by the police service to improve value for money
  • wider government objectives for police reform, including the introduction of police and crime commissioners, the reduction of police bureaucracy and collaboration between police forces and other public services
  • other relevant developments including the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission led by Lord Hutton, any emerging recommendations from it and the government’s commitment to protect accrued pension rights
  • the impact of any recommendations on equality and diversity

Tom Winsor, 52, was the Rail Regulator between 1999 and 2004, which included the period of dismantling Railtrack and the creation of Network Rail.  In his period in office he carried out two major reviews of the national railway infrastructure (October 2000 and December 2003), and helped reform the industry.  Since 2004, he has been a partner in global law firm White & Case in its City of London office.  He qualified as a lawyer in 1981.

Sir Edward Crew was Chief Constable of West Midlands Police from 1996 to 2002 and Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police from 1993 to 1996. He had been a serving officer for more than 40 years when he retired in 2002.

Richard Disney is Professor of Labour Economics at Nottingham University. He has also worked at the universities of London, Kent and Canterbury, Reading, Strathclyde and Addis Ababa. He is a Research Fellow of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and has worked with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Today’s developments follow the Home Secretary’s announcement on 19 May that a review would take place and a commitment to it in the coalition agreement.

For more details contact our Newsdesk on 020 7035 3535. Find out more and see the review.

Published 1 October 2010