The Police Federation says a £1,900 pay award for officers will help in bridging the gap between household incomes and the cost of living crisis.

It said that the move was a ‘small step and long overdue’.

Starting salaries for police officers in the island will be increased by 8%, which follows the same measure being implemented in England and Wales.

The federation says this is ‘disappointing’ for those in supervisory ranks (senior officers) or who are longer in service. Their pay award comes to between 0.6% and 3%.

Since the pay award was announced, the Department of Home Affairs has said it supported it but warned it would create challenges for already ‘overstretched’ budgets.

Richard Hewitt, chair of the Police Federation in the island, told Manx Radio: ‘We want all workers across the public sector to get the pay rise they deserve, but police officers face unique dangers, being asked to put their lives in danger daily to protect our communities, it’s important that this is reflected in an ongoing way.

‘It does bridge the gap a little for those at the middle part of their careers, then that percentage starts to come down. What they’ve done is instead of using a small bucket to empty a sinking ship, they’ve just given them a bigger bucket.

‘We’re now into 10% inflation so we would have hoped for a pay award that would have been in line with inflation. It’s not to say that this pay award is not welcome because it’ll be a respite for officers, especially for those who are much younger in the service.

‘We represent everyone from constables the first day through the door to an officer that’s got 29 years 364 days [in the force] so we’re there to represent them equally.

‘We would have liked a percentage increase across the board rather than a £1,900 lump payment because it’s just a small drop in the ocean for those who are at the other end of the pay scale.’