POLICE and prison officers in Gloucestershire are set to be released from the public sector pay cap, however the size of the raise has not gone down well.

This comes as the Government announced on Tuesday that police will be handed a one per cent rise, plus a one per cent bonus, while prison officers will receive a 1.7 per cent pay increase.

However, the unions for both sectors along with Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, have called the rise ‘long overdue’ and ‘far from what officers deserve.’.

"I absolutely welcome the news that the pay cap will be lifted, but I also feel that it should be extended to all support staff, including PCSOs," he said.

“It is long overdue however, and we understand the additional element will have to come out of our current budget which means savings will have to be found elsewhere."

Gloucestershire’s Police Federation, which recently published a survey showing that the majority of officers in the county feel there is low morale, are underpaid and have seen increased workloads, said the news was ‘insulting’.

“This is far from what my members deserve,” said Sarah Johnson, chairman of Gloucestershire Police Federation.

“The one per cent plus one per cent consolidated is not only less that what was recommended by the independent Police Pay Review Body but is insulting to suggest that the full uplift is not pensionable.

“The majority of police officers have seen the remuneration package they joined the service under – believing it would secure their future – attacked and this further erodes not only that package but the confidence my members have in the Government who claim to value the work, service, commitment and sacrifice that my members give.”

Prison officers in the UK will receive an average of a 1.7 per cent pay rise, included those at Eastwood Park in Falfield, Ashfield and Leyhill Prison in South Gloucestershire.

The release from the pay cap follows £100 million Government investment which will recruit 2,500 new prison officers by 2018.

Justice Secretary David Lidington said that the hard work of prison staff was being recognised, calling the boost ‘well-deserved’.

“Our hardworking prison staff do an outstanding job, often in the most challenging of circumstances. It is therefore right that this work is recognised and that they are awarded a well-deserved increase in pay,” he said.

“During my visits to prisons around the country I have been hugely impressed with the commitment and dedication they show to make prisons safer and improving the lives of the offenders they manage.

“Prison officers provide a vital public service. Their work is often out of sight but is crucial to keeping the public safe.”

Public sector pay was frozen for two years in 2010, except for those earning less than £21,000 a year, and since 2013, rises have been capped at one per cent – crucially, below the rate of inflation.

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said the announcement would leave many officers ‘angry and deflated’ and were taking home roughly 15 per cent less than seven years ago.

The federation had asked for a 2.8 per cent increase to basic pay, while the Prison Officers Association had called for a five per cent boost.

Meanwhile, a potential pay rise of two per cent for fire fighters has been rejected by the brigade’s union.

General secretary of the Fire Brigade Union Matt Wrack said: “The offer fails to clearly address the pain our members have experienced as a result of years of falling real wages.”