Zoe Wakefield, chair of Hampshire Police Federation, scoffed over the pay of McDonald's general managers when comparing it to the wages of student officers.
She said better salaries for officers would prevent other forces offering ‘bungs’ to ‘poach’ them after the Metropolitan Police offered experienced officers from other areas a £5,000 bonus to jump ship.
The county’s police federation accused the Metropolitan Police of ‘trying to poach police officers by offering the cash bung’.
Ms Wakefield said: ‘The government is creating a situation where forces are having to compete against each other to increase their numbers in order to meet the uplift targets - set by the government. Because of a possible financial penalty, underhand tactics like this are happening.
‘Police officers should be transferring because they want the experience of working in another force or because they want or need to relocate for personal reasons. It should never be a financial decision. This public money is being used to meet a government target.’
Ms Wakefield said the situation was brought about by unfair pay before bringing McDonald’s into the row.
She said: ‘This would not happen if police officers were paid fairly to start with. There would not be an issue with increasing police numbers. A general manager in McDonald’s is paid more than a new student police officer. How can that be right?’
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The chair then added: ‘The government needs to increase police pay to an acceptable level if they want to attract people and retain experienced officers.’