A POLICE union leader has said a 'miserly' pay rise given to officers may be the 'tipping point' for Thames Valley Police.

Officers in Oxfordshire and across the country are set to receive a 2 per cent pay rise from September 1, the Government announced last month.

Craig O'Leary, chairman of the Thames Valley Police Federation, said the 'disappointing' offering, which amounts to £2.50 extra a a week for officers starting out, was 'despicable'.

The police representative, who has consistently called on the Government to increase funding for forces, said: “I really think this could be the tipping point for Thames Valley officers.

“I genuinely thought we were going through a sea change with this Government particularly with the new Home Secretary saying all the right things.

“But basically, he’s lost the argument in the Treasury. It seems they have taken advantage of him being new and it’s the Home Office which has taken the hit.

“For officers coming in it’s a £2.50 week rise, that doesn’t do anything especially in the Thames Valley where living costs are so high.”

One concern raised by TVP Federation is that, because last year's pay award was composed of a 1 per cent rise and 1 per cent one-off bonus, this year's rise is effectively raising the overall pay packet by just 1 per cent.

In making its decision, the Government ignored a recommendation from the Police Remuneration Review Body that the 1 per cent from last year be paid on top of the 2 per cent award.

A Home Office statement confirmed that council tax precepts will be used by forces to pay for the award.

Thames Valley police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld used newly-given powers to raise the police portion of council tax earlier this year, meaning that the average householder in Oxfordshire now pays £12 extra per year.

On using the newly awarded powers, Mr Stansfeld said he increased the precept to prevent cuts to frontline services.

Over the last seven years, £99m has been removed from TVP’s budget and a further £14.3m savings need to be made over the next three years.

The starting salary for a TVP officer is £23,124, plus a £2,000 South East allowance.

PC O'Leary continued: “Officers in Thames Valley have had to stomach this rise in Council Tax precept too and this ‘increase’ doesn’t even cover that.

“It’s a case of déjà vu, we were here last year.

“I am just bitterly disappointed especially when you consider officers have been busting their chops with all the extra demands from the visit of President Trump, the football and the Royal Wedding.

“Quite frankly it’s despicable."

Other people working in the public sector, including teachers, will receive a 3.5 per cent pay rise, the Government also announced last month.