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Hertfordshire is first force to go to maximum South East Allowance

Hertfordshire Fed Chair, Luke Mitchell, has said he hopes that officers will be receiving the money in a lump sum before Christmas.

In 2001, the PNB agreed that officers in forces bordering the Met (Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Thames Valley) would be eligible for an annual allowance of £2,000 while those in the remaining South East forces (Bedfordshire, Hampshire and Sussex) would be eligible for a £1,000 allowance.

The allowance is non-pensionable and available for those not already in receipt of housing allowance.

This week, Hertfordshire decided that it would increase the allowance payment to the current maximum of £3,000 – they are the first force to do so. The extra payments will be backdated from April.

Hertfordshire Fed Chair, Luke Mitchell, has said he hopes that officers will be receiving the money in a lump sum before Christmas.

“I’m really pleased the Executive has listened to our pleas around increasing the South East Allowance and reacted quickly to the changing landscape we’re living in,” he explained.

“I’m aware of further ideas that will be announced shortly that will hopefully help officers around the rise in the cost of living.

“But once this is announced the Chief Constable won’t have any more rabbits he can pull out of hats so it is now time for the Government to react and play its part.

“I want all MPs to now play their part in ensuring police officers get a proper, meaningful pay rise that takes into account the unique job we do, the 20 per cent reduction in pay over the last 12 years and the rise in the cost of living.”

 Mr Mitchell has been campaigning for the increase since he came into post in May – asking the force to do it as a way of easing the financial pressures on members. He has, however, urged the government to also act.

Luke Mitchell told Police Oracle the federation are aware of their officers having to resort to foodbanks and pay day-loans. While precise numbers were difficult, he said it was “certainly increasing”.

He also mentioned that a particular problem for the force is that a large number of staff live outside the area, and that he has warned they may see a rise in officers calling in sick, something he said was “not lost on the Executive”.

Regarding the Met’s £5k one-off payment for transferees from other forces announced earlier this year, Mr Mitchell said when it came out, he asked the force not to focus on what the Met were doing but on their own recruitment and retention.

“I don’t blame the Met,” he said.

“They are trying to do what we are trying to do – recruit and retain the best.”

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