P-Factor Must Not Be Used To ‘Divide And Conquer’

The ‘P-Factor’, which represents the dangers police officers face and is often cited as a reason officers should be paid more, must not be used to “divide and conquer”, South Yorkshire Police Federation has said.

Last month, the PFEW Pay and Morale Survey revealed that 79% of South Yorkshire Police officers were “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with their overall remuneration. Subsequently the Social Market Foundation (SMF) published a blog saying that there would be a continued decrease in officers’ spending power in the years ahead.

The SMF said there was a strong argument for increasing transparency around the P-Factor – which represents the unique obligations and responsibilities of officers, which mean they often find themselves exposed to an increased level of harm – and how it could be accounted for in police pay.

But Steve Kent, Chair of South Yorkshire Police Federation, said the P-Factor needed to be approached carefully, as different officers faced different kinds of challenges.

Steve said: “The P-Factor needs to be recognised, but you’ve got to be very careful with it because most police officers have some element of P-Factor, whether that’s within the nature of their work or the restrictions on their personal life. So you mustn’t pitch officers against each other.

“A response officer may have more weekly leave days cancelled, and face danger every day. But another officer will be protecting vulnerable people or dealing with video evidence where they’re exposed to horrific scenes, and that can take a catastrophic toll on them.

“So we’ve got to be careful that this isn’t another example of divide and conquer. Rather than messing about with P-Factors, why not make sure that all officers are properly paid – a significant pay rise to bring us in line with the rest of the G7 and policing across the world. Then all police officers who have to use their warranted powers will be paid appropriately.”