A new body is being set up to tackle the issue of police pay and working conditions.

A meeting was held this week by the Joint Consultative Council (JCC), which is the Department of Home Affairs and the Police Federation.

It was agreed there to set up a working party to look at the issues.

The meeting followed the release of the results of a survey taken by the Police Federation into the member officers’ opinions on pay and conditions.

One of the questions showed that 89% of the police officers surveyed thought that the police didn’t offer good pay and conditions.

A department spokesperson said: ‘The Department of Home Affairs and the Isle of Man Police Federation agree that the recent survey of serving police officers relating to pay is a cause for serious concern.

‘Police officers in the Isle of Man are a vital part of our community, working long and often unsociable hours, frequently under difficult circumstances.

‘Both the Department of Home Affairs and the Police Federation have committed to work together to find a solution to the issues highlighted by the federation.’

The JCC met to discuss the next course of action following the survey results.

The spokesperson continued: ‘At its meeting members agreed to form a working party to bring back options and solutions to address the highlighted issues.’

A working party is a group in a body that is dedicated to addressing a single issue or question and make recommendations based on its findings.

Detective Constable Richard Hewitt, chair of the Police Federation, said: ‘We will enter into negotiations in good fair, with an open mind, and with the best intentions of our members at heart.

‘However, time is of the essence.’

The Police Federation undertook the survey following questions put forward by members about an update to the island living allowance that the JCC had discussed inputting for the constabulary.

One unnamed police officer said: ‘I hate to say this but I’m probably worth more to my family financially dead than I am alive.

‘I hope it never comes to that.’

The starting salary for a police constable is £24,780, with an increase of £1,900, or 8%, to the starting salary being implemented last August.

In his annual report, Chief Constable Gary Roberts warned that the poor pay of officers was a ‘real issue’.

Minister for the Department of Home Affairs Jane Poole-Wilson said: ‘I value the work and commitment from the men and women in the Isle of Man Constabulary, who keep our island safe.

‘They work long hours, often in difficult conditions. I will be considering the results of the survey and will want to understand the options on how best to respond.’