The Sheehy Inquiry: 'Special skills deserve reward': The Constable

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The Independent Online
EVERY working day, Constable Malcolm Williams, 34, makes life or death decisions. As a member of an armed response crew in Kent, he knows that on any day he may have to face someone running amok with a loaded weapon. He may have to shoot and kill that person.

He has to be mentally and physically fitter than his colleagues, undergo regular training and cope with sudden changes in his working hours. His wife, expecting their first child, worries about the dangers he faces. For this, he is paid about pounds 20,000 a year - the maximum for a constable with 15 years' service; he receives no additional allowances for his skills as a marksman or as a trained frogman. Someone who has spent 15 years patrolling sleepy Kent villages receives the same.

Under the proposed new pay scales, PC Williams would have reached his present salary several years previously and would be eligible for individual and team bonuses for good work, significantly boosting his salary.

'It think it is only fair that officers like myself should receive a bigger payment for what I do. It is a stressful and hazardous job,' he said. He is concerned about payment for results and believes it should be managed carefully. 'You cannot simply pay by arrests; I arrest very few people. We are paid not for what we do, but for what we might have to do.'

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