PAUSING pay rises for police officers over the next year has been described as a “betrayal” by the Dorset Police Federation.

Last week, chancellor Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons he couldn’t “justify” an across the board bay increase for all public sector workers.

Doctors and nurses would still get a pay rise and those in the public sector earning under £24,000 will get a rise of at least £250.

And Anna Harvey, chair of the Dorset Police Federation, said it was “inexcusable”.

Ms Harvey said: “Today’s announcement on the pause of public sector pay rises can only be described as a real betrayal of those women and men who have been on the front line putting themselves in real danger over the past nine months.

“We have seen officers dealing with extremely challenging situations, increased demand, and now to be told that your pay is being frozen is inexcusable.

“I won’t need to remind our members of the years of austerity when our pay reduced in real terms by 18 per cent.

“Forces are continuing to recruit and retain officers, however this announcement will certainly make some potential applicants think twice.

“Whilst I appreciate some of our junior in service officers who are on low starting salaries will get a £250 pay increase this will have a minimal impact.”

Parliament heard how more than £400 million will be provided to recruit 6,000 police officers and Mr Sunak said 20,000 people could be recruited.

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds referenced how hollow the Chancellor "clapping for carers" during the first lock down now was.

She added: “Firefighters, police officers and teachers will know their spending power is going down, many key workers who took on so much responsibility during this crisis are now being forced to tighten their belts.”

Mr Sunak did tell MPs that “pay progressions and promotions will carry on” in the public sector which should refer to police officers who receive or are scheduled to receive incremental rises.