The Home Secretary was told that some officers are resorting to using food banks today as she attended the Police Federation Conference in person for the first time since the pandemic.
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Priti Patel was blasted over poor police pay as she faced rank and file officers today, after Boris Johnson had vowed to get touch on crime. 

The Home Secretary was told that some officers are resorting to using food banks today as she attended the Police Federation Conference in person for the first time since the pandemic. 

But she was confronted in Manchester by officers who told to ‘put her money where her mouth is’ amid a stand off over pay. The federation is one of the police organisations embroiled in a row with the Government over a pay freeze.

Answering questions after giving a speech, groans could be heard when Ms Patel told delegates the federation – which represents more than 130,000 officers from the rank of constable to chief inspector – had not been ‘at the table’ recently for pay negotiations. 

Rich Cooke, chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, was met with cheers and applause from the audience when he told her: ‘It’s about time you and your colleagues put your money where your mouth is and did something about the terrible state that our colleagues are finding themselves in.’ 

One officer, a single mother who had worked in policing for more than two decades, asked Priti Patel if she would be able to ‘survive’ on £1,200 or £1,400 a month.

Detective Constable Vicky Knight, of North Wales Police, told how she had to borrow money from her mother and described herself and some colleagues as ‘desperately struggling to do the job that we love and to make ends meet’.

Earlier the Prime Minister had played up the Government’s crime fighting credentials as he vowed to get tough on violent crime.

He said ‘crime crime crime is what we want to focus on’ and vowed to ’round up’ drugs gangs and cut violent crime as he chaired a Cabinet meeting in Downing Street. 

The Home Secretary also unveiled plans to allow part-time police officers to carry Tasers for the first time. 

The Home Secretary was told that some officers are resorting to using food banks today as she attended the Police Federation Conference in person for the first time since the pandemic.

The Home Secretary was told that some officers are resorting to using food banks today as she attended the Police Federation Conference in person for the first time since the pandemic.

Answering questions after giving a speech, groans could be heard when Ms Patel told delegates the federation - which represents more than 130,000 officers from the rank of constable to chief inspector - had not been 'at the table' recently for pay negotiations.

Answering questions after giving a speech, groans could be heard when Ms Patel told delegates the federation – which represents more than 130,000 officers from the rank of constable to chief inspector – had not been ‘at the table’ recently for pay negotiations.

The Prime Minister vowed to 'round up' drugs gangs and cut violent crime as he chaired a Cabinet meeting in Downing Street.

The Prime Minister vowed to ’round up’ drugs gangs and cut violent crime as he chaired a Cabinet meeting in Downing Street.

It came ahead of a speech this afternoon by Priti Patel in which she will confirm that special constables can be armed with stun guns to allow them to deal with violent situations.

It came ahead of a speech this afternoon by Priti Patel in which she will confirm that special constables can be armed with stun guns to allow them to deal with violent situations.

Chief constables will be left to decide whether specials in their force will be authorised to carry the weapons – after they have completed the same training as full-time police constables and served for a minimum period. 

Ms Patel said that pay and conditions was something she was ‘committed’ to working with the Federation on and thanked Ms Knight for sharing her story, adding: ‘I think it just it really illustrates so strongly and powerfully why we need to actually find solutions to pay issues and actually give you the support that you rightly deserve.

‘We have to move this forward. You have that commitment from me, you absolutely do.’

The federation’s national chairman, Steve Hartshorn, who took on the role in March, said the ‘lack’ of pay ‘sticks in the throat’ of officers and causes them the ‘greatest hardship’, asking Ms Patel: ‘What has gone wrong?’

He added: ‘Why are my colleagues one of the only groups of frontline public sector workers being penalised in their pockets?’

Last year the federation withdrew from the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB), an independent system that sets salaries, after widespread outrage over the Government’s decision to freeze pay for officers who earn more than £24,000.

By contrast, NHS staff were given a 3 per cent increase and firefighters and local government workers a 1.5 per cent rise.

Mr Johnson said that bringing down offending was a ‘crucial duty of our Government’, adding that it was ‘integral’ to the economic mission to level up Britain.

‘It is because it is only when you have safe streets, when you have safe communities, that you get the confidence of business to invest and drive jobs and growth,’ he said.

‘That is absolutely critical now that we deal with the aftershocks of Covid and we help people with their current costs and take the economy through a difficult patch, and that is why cutting crime is integral to our economic mission.’

At the Police Federation annual conference, Priti Patel said the Taser move is designed to ensure the volunteer part-time officers are no longer at a disadvantage when they face violent criminals or terrorists on the street.

Chief constables will be left to decide whether specials in their force will be authorised to carry the weapons – after they have completed the same training as full-time police constables and served for a minimum period.

The Taser, first used by forces in 2003, fires probes that deliver a high-voltage electric pulse, causing incapacitating muscle spasms.

Ms Patel said: ‘Human rights are not just for criminals, but the law-abiding majority. 

‘And that means standing squarely with the police.’

There are 8,900 special constables in England and Wales, who are fully trained and undertake the same duties as regular police officers on a voluntary basis. 

Miss Patel will also say that in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder by a serving Metropolitan Police officer last year, forces must work hard ‘to create a better culture and higher standards’.

But Amnesty International UK’s policing expert warned that arming volunteer officers is ‘dangerous’ and will inevitably lead to ‘more instances of misuse, serious harm and death from Tasers’. 

Oliver Feeley-Sprague, a member of the independent advisory group to the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on Tasers, said: ‘It’s our understanding that specials will be subject to a rigours assessment prior to being selected to undergo Taser training, but arming volunteers who receive less training overall and do less hours on the job is a worrying erosion of safeguards over Taser misuse.

‘Tasers are potentially lethal weapons, linked to hundreds of deaths in the USA and a growing number in Britain, and we’ve always said that UK police forces needed to restrict their use to highly-trained specialist officers, trained on a par with officers carrying firearms.

‘We also have specific concerns about Tasers being used against vulnerable groups such as those with mental illness, children and their massive overuse on black people.’

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