All Island Police Officers will receive a one-off payment of £3000 to respond to recruitment and retention issues while long-term pay solutions are explored.
The retention payment will be awarded to all federated ranks of the Isle of Man Constabulary during this financial year, with a condition to remain in the Constabulary for a period of 12 months.
The payment is in recognition of the large numbers of resignations from the Constabulary over the past two years, with many officers citing low pay as the main factor. Since January, ten officers have resigned from the force, with seven having under five years’ service and three serving between five and fifteen years. This is having an impact on the ability of the Constabulary to plan for succession and to maintain an establishment of trained and effective officers.
Police pay in the Isle of Man is linked to UK pay due to a reciprocal agreement. Police officers in their first years of service receive relatively low pay and this is causing issues with retention, particularly for those officers with fewer than five years of service.
Minister for Justice and Home Affairs, Jane Poole-Wilson MHK, said:
‘The Department has worked with the Police Federation and Treasury to discuss how we can address the immediate retention issue within the Constabulary. I am pleased we have made progress on this payment which I hope demonstrates our commitment to supporting and listening to our police force. The difficulties faced around the recruitment and retention of Officers is not unique to us, but something that is being felt across the British Isles. However, it is felt more acutely due to our Island status.’
I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all our Police Officers, Special Constables, support staff and the many volunteers who work tirelessly 24/7 to ensure that the Island is a safe place for us all.’
Chief Constable, Russell Foster, said:
'We welcome and appreciate this positive gesture from the Department and Government more broadly. I may be new to this role, but I am acutely aware of the challenges faced by our officers who in real terms have seen a 20% reduction in their pay since 2012.
We need to remind ourselves that our officers are residents of the Island who have chosen a challenging, but also rewarding career to keep us all safe. On a daily basis they put themselves between the public and danger and more often than not deal with people who are enduring the worst experiences of their lives.
Our officers continue to protect vulnerable people, reduce harm in our communities and tackle criminality. This payment is very much earned and well deserved. I hope that it will help ease some of the financial burden experienced by our officers in the short term, whilst we work collaboratively with Government and the Police Federation to make longer-term improvements to police pay.'
Treasury have approved funding, which will come from the Contingency Fund, totalling over £600,000, this will equal £3000 for every officer of the rank Chief Inspector and below.
The payment will be made in August, subject to the necessary administration being completed.