A POLICE chief has slammed the UK Government for its "empty, hollow platitudes" after a public sector pay freeze was announced on Wednesday.

Mark Jones, general secretary for the North Wales Police Federation, said the Spending Review confirmed by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak had "laid bare" the government's "true feelings towards police officers".

NHS workers have been exempt from the pay freeze, which will apply to public sector workers who earn above the £24,000 median wage during 2021.

Mr Sunak said the UK Government is aiming to "ensure fairness between the private and public sectors" and "targeting our resources at those who need it most".

However Mr Jones said the pay freeze is yet another blow for police officers who have risked their lives to keep the public safe amid years of austerity cuts.

“Government ministers have been happy to stand on the doorsteps of Downing Street and clap away to thank key workers; they are more than prepared to gush with praise when police officers have run into danger when others run away yet with today’s announcement by the Chancellor the true feelings towards police officers are laid bare," he said.

“Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, police officers have had no choice but to continue to respond to 999 calls, to continue to protect the most vulnerable in society.

"Every single day they have risked their own health, safety and wellbeing plus that of their loved ones to protect our communities. Police officers have contracted Covid-19 and every day they go to work they risk bringing a silent, unseen killer in to their homes.

“Empty, hollow platitudes from Government mean nothing. Police officers are still recovering after years of austerity and a real terms pay cut of 18 per cent. We await the finer detail but on first glance this is not a good day for police officers.

“Government literally need to put their money where their mouth is and value the brave men and women who protect and serve us all.”