§ Mr. Hunter
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reasons underlie his policy that officers of adjacent police forces carrying out the same duties and responsibilities may receive different levels of remuneration. 
§ Mr. Bob Ainsworth
The Special Priority Payment (SPP) Scheme, under which extra rewards may be paid to officers in the most difficult and demanding posts, was agreed by all parties in the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) as part of a ground-breaking package of reforms to police pay and conditions of service. The parties in PNB include representatives of the Association of Chief Police Officers, of police authorities and of the Police Federations. PNB decided that posts might qualify for a SPP where they: carry a significantly higher responsibility level than the norm for the rank; or present particular difficulties in recruitment or retention; or have specially demanding working conditions or working environments.
PNB agreed that chief constables and police authorities should draw up a local scheme of payments in line with the national criteria. This was because PNB believed that the chief constable and police authority were best placed to decide locally which posts in their force met the national criteria. Consequently, the decision as to which posts in a given force qualify for a SPP is for the chief constable and the police authority, not for the Secretary of State. Where, therefore, a post qualifies for payment in one force but not in an adjacent force, it is due to the decision of the chief constables and police authorities of the forces concerned.
All federated ranks officers, regardless of whether they get a special priority payment, received an increase in basic pay of at least £402 from 1 April. This increase comes on top of the annual police pay award this September.