At the meeting on Wednesday next to wind up the business of the municipal year, the Town Council of Liverpool will be called upon to consider a series of important recommendations made by the Watch Committee for a general increase of pay of the police force of the borough. As there is a strong repugnance on the part of the ratepayers to any measure involving an additional outlay of corporate money, and as, moreover, there is much ignorance and misapprehension as to the duties and remuneration of the police force, the whole facts are placed fairly before the public. The proposal to increase the pay of the police force by an additional outlay of £7195, of which £3597 is to be defrayed by the corporation, is at first sight a startling proposition, but when the special circumstances of the three classes of officers between whom the extra remuneration is to be divided are considered, it will be seen that the additional outlay is indispensable to the maintenance of the efficiency of the force, if not to its very existence.
It is proposed to augment the salaries of the constables who form the main body of the police force by the additional outlay of £5500, of which the corporation will be called upon to pay £2750, the residue being defrayed by the dock board and by a Government grant upon a certificate by the official inspector of the efficiency of the force. These constables about 860 in number, including the river police are ranged in six classes and the following will show their present and proposed weekly remuneration ;-
Present rates, 22s for 6mths, - proposed rate 24s-7d 1st yr
Present rates, 22s after 6mths, - proposed rate, 25s-8d, 2nd yr
Present rate, 24s after 2 yrs, - proposed rate, 26s-8d, 3rd yr
Present rate, 25s after 3yrs, - proposed rate, 27s-10d, 4th and 5th yr
Present rate, 26s after 6yrs, - proposed rate, 28s-10d after 5yrs.
The changes which have taken place in the labour market within the past few years have materially effected the various police forces of England. Not many years since, when the price of labour was low, there was a complete glut of men ever ready to fill any vacancies which might arise in the police force of the country. They came from Cumberland, Westmoreland, the manufacturing districts of England, and not a few from Ireland and Scotland, attracted by the rate of pay, then greatly in excess of the wages of the agricultural labourer. But now the whole has changed, the remuneration of the labouring classes has everywhere increased, so that now even unskilled workmen can obtain five and a half days work per week, a higher scale of remuneration than that given to the lower classes of policemen, whose work is both unpleasant and dangerous, and extends over the seven days of the week. There is consequently no inducement to intelligent men to enter the force and the result is that for some years past the force has been numerically below standard, and if the strength of the force is to be kept up under the present rate of wages it must be by the admission of the men whose status, measured by the standard of remuneration is below that of the common labourer. In this, as in most other departments of the public service, small wages, inevitably result in inefficiency. It should, moreover, be known that in the proposed rates the constables do not receive the entire amount offered to their respective terms of services. In each of the classes the added pence are weekly deducted as the contributions of them to the superannuation fund, thus reducing the addition to the pay in each instance to 2s per week. Looking at the exceptional character of police employment, at the value of the property which the members of the force are called upon to protect, at the efficient services rendered by them as a whole, and by the fire brigade in particular, together with the increased cost of all kinds of provisions, and the general advance of wages in the labour market the proposed increase in the pay of the constables seems but an act of justice.
A similar argument applies to the second class of officers, which includes inspectors, detectives, bridewell keepers and clerks. If the wages of the subordinate officers are raised, it becomes necessary that some corresponding increase should be made in the remuneration of the class immediately above. This is proposed to do as follows :-
Clerks, present - 27s - proposed - 29s-10d
Detective constables, 2nd class, present - 28s - proposed - 30s-10d
Bridewell keepers, 2nd class, present - 29s - proposed - 31s-10d
Detectives and bridewell keepers 1st class, present - 31s - proposed 34s-2d
Inspectors, 2nd class, present - 33s - proposed - 36s-3d
Detectives, present - 34s - proposed - 37s - 4d
Inspectors 1st class, present - 36s - proposed - 40s-4d
Coxswains, present - 30s - proposed - 32s-10d
River police, present - 26s - proposed 27s-10d
It will be seen that this class includes a body of men whose ability and power to command much of the efficiency of the ordinary police depends, and also a numerous staff of detective constables and inspectors whose special duties require more than ordinary tact and judgement. Instances might be cited in which, through the adroitness and keen observation of the detective-officers, property to the extent in some cases of thousand of pounds has been recovered, and the thieves brought to justice. In some of the disturbances which threatened the peace, not only of Liverpool but also of England, the detective-officers of Liverpool rendered the most efficient service, and surely by being eminently qualified by years of police experience to discharge their important functions, no reasonable objection can be made to an increase of 4s to their weekly stipend, making the highest amount paid 40s per week.
The last class, including what are termed salaried officers, is by far the most important, because it embraces the various heads of departments by whom the whole body of the police force is governed and organised, and upon whom mainly rests the responsibility of the efficiency or inefficiency of the entire force. The names of the principal officers in this class, and reference to circumstances connected with their public career, showing the claim which they have to the proposed increase in their pay.
Inspectors, to be salaried, present - 40s per week, - proposed, £114 per annum
Inspectors, to be salaried, present - £110 per annum - proposed £120 per annum
Detective Constables, present - £105 per annum - proposed - £114 per annum
John WILSON, Detective storekeeper, present - £130 per annum - proposed - £145 per annum
Inspector CARTMELL, present - £119 per annum - proposed - £125 per annum
Detective inspectors, present - £150 per annum - proposed - £160 per annum
Beadle James BLAKE, present - £156 per annum - proposed - £170 per annum
Superintendents, present - £166 per annum - proposed - £180 per annum
Superintendents, present - £170 per annum - proposed - £180 per annum
Thomas DEANE, governor main bridewell, present - £200 per annum - proposed - £220 per annum
Chief clerk, present - £250 per annum - proposed - £275 per annum
Accountant clerk, present - £250 per annum - proposed - £275 per annum
River police, Superintendent A. E. PARKES, present - £250 per annum - proposed - £275 per annum
Supt Lawrence KEHOE, present - £260 per annum - proposed - £280 per annum
Superintendent HANCOX, present - £200 per annum - proposed - £210, to increase £10 per annum till it reaches £250
Dept Supt William MOORE, present - £150 per annum - proposed - £160 per annum
Chief Supt Adam SIBBALD, present - £290 per annum - proposed - £320 to increase £10 per annum till it reaches £350
Chief Supt Benjamin RIDE, present - £370 per annum - proposed - £400 per annum
Reversing the order in which these salaried officers are ranged, beginning with Chief-superintendent RIDE, as next in command to the head-constable, we find that Mr RIDE was appointed superintendent on the 7th October 1845, and has had 28 years service in connection with the borough police. On the 19th of April 1872, Mr RIDE'S salary was increased £20 making it £370 per annum. It is now proposed to add to it £30, making the stipend £400 a year. In the absence of Major GREIG from the borough, Chief-superintendent RIDE acts as head-constable, and as a man of education and a highly efficient officer he is entitled to every farthing which it is proposed to give him. There can be no doubt with his extensive police experience and practical knowledge, he could without difficulty obtain an appointment as head-constable of any force in England at a salary considerably in advance of that proposed to be paid to him here, and it is to the interest of the public that his services should be retained in Liverpool.
Chief-superintendent SIBBALD has also had 28 years experience in the Liverpool Police, having been appointed superintendent on the 28th October 1845. He is a most intelligent and efficient officer. His present salary is £290, with an increase of £10 per annum until it reaches £320, a maximum which would not be attained for 3 years. It is proposed at once to increase Mr SIBBALD'S stipend to £320 and to raise it £10 per year till it reaches £350.
Superintendent KEHOE is the oldest member of the force, having been appointed on the 24th December 1834, and therefore having 39 years service. His duties are most onerous, and he discharges them with a fidelity that commends him to all. His present stipend is £260 which it is proposed to increase to £280.
Chief Clerk Mr James M. KISSACK who was appointed on the 2nd August 1848, has had 25 years service. In April 1872 when the pay of several salaried officers was increased that of Mr KISSACK was increased from £220 to £250, and at the expiration of 25 years service it is now proposed to raise his stipend to £275 per annum.
It is proposed to raise the salary of Mr Francis B. CALDWELL, accountant's clerk, who has had 21 years service to the same amount as that given to Mr KISSACK.
Mr Thomas DEANE, governor of the main bridewell, was appointed on the 2nd February 1855, and has been in the employ of the town for 18 years and 8 months. His original salary was raised from £175 to £200, and it is now proposed to increase it £20 per year.
Superintendent HANCOX the present superintendent of the fire brigade was appointed an officer in the force in June 1853, and has consequently seen 20 years service. On the retirement of Superintendent HEWITT from the command of the Liverpool Fire Brigade in March of the present year Mr HANCOX was appointed superintendent at a salary of £200 per year to increase £10 per year till it reached £250. It is proposed to raise his salary at once to £250 and increase it by £10 per year till it reaches £250. This is virtually no increase, the proposal only being to pay the £10 in October instead of March next.
In the case of Mr PARKS, superintendent of the river police, who was appointed on the 18th December 1866, at a salary of £250, it is proposed to increase the salary to £275.
Supt Thomas TOMLINSON, after 33 years service, Supt Morgan O'BRIEN, after 32 years service, and Supt William WHITE, after 27 years service, are proposed to be raised from £170 to £180 per annum. In the case of Supt James DAWSON, 18 years service, Supt Richard STEADMAN, nearly 19 years service, and Supt Edward PARKINS, 20 years service, it is recommended that the present salary of £166 be in each case raised to £180.
Mr James BLAKE, beadle at the Coroner's Court, has served the town for nearly 29 years, in 1869 his salary was raised to £156 per annum, and it is now proposed further to increase it to £170 per year.
Detective-inspector CARLISLE after 24 years service, is to receive an increase of £10, and Detective-inspector COZENS, 27 years service, is to receive a similar amount, making their respective salaries £160 per annum. It is proposed to raise the stipend of Mr William MOORE, deputy-superintendent of the fire brigade, from £150 to £160 per annum. Mr MOORE who joined the force in July 1848, previously held the rank of inspector of the fire brigade.
The increase to the salaried officers is only £307 per annum, one half of which sum will be paid by the Government and the dock board, thus reducing the additional cost to the borough to about £150. It should be borne in mind that the officers we have referred to have attained their present positions by long and meritous services, and it is not too much to say that had they followed any occupation as civilians, they would, in a pecuniary point of view, have been better off. Thirty years ago the salary of an ordinary superintendent was £156 per annum, the salary now proposed is £180, which is surely not too much after many years of toil and anxiety. With such testimonials as to the efficiency and length of service as those to which we have alluded, the salaried officers have a good case to lay before the town council, and when the fact we have stated become generally known, the public will, we think, most cordially support the proposals of the watch committee.
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