POLICE officers in Dorset have to use foodbanks and pay day loans as they struggle during the cost of living crisis, the chair of the Dorset Police Federation has said. 

James Dimmack is calling for police officers to receive fairer pay after hearing of colleagues struggling to pay for food to feed their families. 

Mr Dimmack said: “It’s a staggering statistic that the police force is one of the most likely profession to utilise a pay day loan.  

“We have officers in Dorset using foodbanks and pay day loans.  

“It isn’t right that this is the case, when officers are going out there and being asked to be the first line in defence.” 

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He added: “The cost of living crisis is affecting all parts of society and it’s hitting police officers just as hard.  

“Officers have had in real terms a reduction in pay over the last 10 years of 20 per cent. With the cost of living going up and income basically going down it is hitting us really hard.” 

The starting salary for constables in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is £21,654.

Bournemouth Echo: Some constables in Dorset have been taking out pay day loansSome constables in Dorset have been taking out pay day loans  Mr Dimmack said: “We’re not going to attract people when the pay is so low. 

“If people want to get higher wages elsewhere then they will leave the force – and that’s ignoring the fact we’re under increasing pressure and the demands of society are increasing on police officers.  

“It’s a dangerous and stressful job and we need to be properly remunerated. 

“We’re not asking for anything ridiculous; we just want a fair pay rise.” 

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A Home Office spokesperson said: “Police officers work tirelessly to keep our streets safe and put criminals behind bars and we thank them for their work. 

“It is the role of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) to consider and make recommendations to the Government on the appropriate level of pay and allowances.   

“We value the independent and expert advice of the PRRB and give very careful consideration to their recommendations. 

“We are delivering by increasing funding for the policing system to up to £16.9billion in 2022/23, including for our 20,000 additional officers.” 

Jo Mosley, Dorset Police's director of people and support services, said: “The wellbeing of our officers and staff is of vital importance to Dorset Police. We recognise that during difficult economic times a proportion of our staff are likely to experience financial hardship. 

“There are a number of ways that a member of Dorset Police can reach out for help. The Force Welfare Fund can offer grants, loans or other support.

"In addition to this, the force has now formed a working agreement with Christians against Poverty (CAP) who are able to offer free debt advice. We are also undertaking a wider piece of work across the alliance in relation to financial support.

“We will do all we can to support everyone with all aspects of their life, both personally and professionally.”