In response to ongoing recruitment and retention challenges, Isle of Man police officers minimum starting salary will increase from this month’s pay day.

The Department of Home Affairs agreed that from July 1, the first three pay points on the police pay scale for the Isle of Man will be removed.

This will increase the minimum starting salary for a constable to £32,163 and will mean all police constables below this level will be moved to the new minimum salary.

All other constables, except those on the top point, will also be moved up on the scale.

The funding has been allocated to the Constabulary from within the Department’s existing budget, and so does not require any additional Tynwald or Treasury funding support.

It’s said to demonstrate the ongoing commitment to ensuring that police officers are valued and that recruitment and retention in the Constabulary is a top priority. This is supported by the Chief Constable, the Department of Home Affairs and the Police Joint Consultative Committee, and was approved by Treasury.

It’s said that this increase will ‘bring Police starting pay more in line with other similar roles’, and it is hoped will go some way towards helping staff experiencing cost of living pressures.

Police officers received a lump sum of £1,900 in 2022 to 2023, equating to an average of 6%. For 2023 to 2024, a £3,000 retention allowance for all officers who agreed to remain in the service for 12 months was accepted, and other options were considered for an interim solution intended to address the retention issue.

Earlier this year the Department of Home Affairs chief executive officer Dan Davies gave evidence to a Tynwald scrutiny committee and said that the island’s Chief Constable believes he can’t deliver the policing as effectively as he wants without more funding.

Russ Foster, who has been in post for over a year, says there are areas of financial risk including the large number of officers leaving over the issue of pay. The Chief Constable commented on the increase in police officers minimum salary and the ongoing recruitment and retention challenge.

He said: ‘For a number of years now the Isle of Man Constabulary (IoMC) have seen diminishing numbers of applicants to become police officers and following the most recent recruitment campaign there were only 40 applicants, 28 of which progressed to the assessment stage which ultimately yielded only three successful candidates, one of which has already sought employment elsewhere.

‘I really welcome the support of the Department of Home Affairs to uplift the starting pay for Constables on the lower end of the pay scale and in turn make the pay for police officers more comparable with other emergency services and criminal justice partners.

‘We will be kick starting our recruitment process in earnest and majoring on the benefits of joining the IoMC and I really welcome applications from people who are interested in keeping the Isle of Man a safe place to live, work, socialise and visit.’