Police protest over pay
PUBLISHED: 12:53 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:43 20 April 2010
POLICE officers from across East Devon joined more than 22,500 colleagues marching in London last week in a protest over pay. Seaton's Sergeant Gary Phillips and colleague PC Steve Speariett, together with Axminster's PC Andy Carmichael, travelled up to
POLICE officers from across East Devon joined more than 22,500 colleagues marching in London last week in a protest over pay. Seaton's Sergeant Gary Phillips and colleague PC Steve Speariett, together with Axminster's PC Andy Carmichael, travelled up to the capital on Wednesday along with Sidmouth's Sergeant Andy Turner. They were just four of around 350 police from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary to give up days off to show their anger at Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's refusal to backdate their annual pay rise to September 2007. PC Andy Carmichael said: "We went to represent colleagues throughout the country and press our point to the government about how disappointed we are. "We felt we were doing something positive for ourselves and for other people joining the force because if we did nothing the future force wouldn't be the force we want it to be." Since the late 1970s, police pay has increased from September 1, to make sure that the rate of pay does not fall behind workers in other areas. In July 2007, the Police Arbitration Tribunal agreed an increase of 2.5 per cent after disputes within the Police Negotiating Board. By refusing to backdate the pay rise to September, police say the Home Secretary is only giving them an increase of 1.9 per cent. A total of seven coaches, carrying officers from Devon and Cornwall, left the Middlemoor headquarters at 5:30am on the morning of the march. Once there, the officers joined their colleagues from all over the country and marched from the starting point on Park Lane, through Hyde Park Corner and Victoria Street until they reached the dispersal point outside the Tate Gallery in Millbank. After the march, many officers went to lobby MPs on the issue or joined further rallies in Westminster. Around 150 officers from the Metopolitan Police provided cover for the march, which paraded past the Home Office. "It was a great atmosphere and done in a good spirit," said PC Carmichael. "It was encouraging to realise we weren't on our own and we got some good support from members of the public who clapped and waved us along. "I think they appreciated the manner in which it was done, very quietly and dignified.