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  1. Great as a Special Constable to finally receive an invitation to join the Fed. In addition the whole cost is being picked up directly by the force, although I understand this is subject to review and not necessarily the same with every force. We’ll wait and see what real benefits it brings but is another step to achieving parity with the support regular officers receive.
  2. I'm unsure where this post would fit best, so please move it as you see fit, Moderation Team. This question I am sure has come up time and time again, however I have been recently asked this by a friend of a relative who is a serving Special in a shire force in the South - and I'm completely confused myself so cannot answer! With regard to 'Travel Concessions' which most police officers get (subject to a nominal fee via the Fed on a monthly basis), why is this specifically excluded for Specials? I understand the legislative part surrounding joining the Fed (although only just!), however I am told the Fed extend olive branches have come to 'understanding of representation' extending to Specials without fee, also extending to those not in company of a regular officer. I asked them to check with their respective Force and their policy. The question was asked and they were told you have to be a 'police officer' to qualify and it was an agreement with their local rail operators. After various Google searches, some rail operators and the TfL does indeed say 'Police Officer' - with some then going on to say "except Special Constables". I understand there is a fee payable and there was once an argument about Specials not wanting to pay the fee (?) so they couldn't join officially - however what if this individual does want to join for full membership, and have the travel concession? I guess, most importantly, when is a Special Constable a Police Officer, and when are they not a Police Officer? Surely it would be easier to say 'Police Constables' only, rather than the exclusion.
  3. I'm wondering whether to join the police federation. I've asked my colleagues and they seem to be completely divided, so I'd love to hear your opinions....
  4. Police cars with no sirens risk response times, federation says - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-34124935 Police cars with no sirens are being used for emergency responses, delaying officers and potentially preventing arrests, the Police Federation says. West Midlands Police has a fleet of 109 Vauxhall Corsa cars intended for neighbourhood policing. The Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said the vehicles had been used for more than 100 urgent calls in the last 12 months. The West Midlands force said the Corsas were "not intended for response work". The Federation's health and safety official Pete Harkness said: "Officers are ordered to drive the Corsa at patrol speed and obey the rules of the road. "But the absence of a siren means they often cannot get traffic to move out of their way and this, in turn, can delay them getting to an emergency situation. "This is very frustrating for the officers and they feel they are letting the public down by not getting to them as quickly as possible in a crisis situation." The union blames cost-cutting for the use of cars without sirens. Superintendent Kerry Blakeman, from the force's operations department, said officers who respond to call-outs in cars without sirens have to follow the Highway Code and cannot break the speed limit to cut through traffic. He said: "Incidents graded as 'immediate' are responded to as soon as possible, usually in a matter of minutes and on many occasions require the use of lights and sirens. "At no point was the Corsa intended for response work as it is a low performance vehicle." It seems to me the force is burying it head in the sand! It really doesn't matter what the vehicle is intended for either. Stop the control room deploying these patrols to immediate response incidents, potentially putting the public at risk and failing to hit response times (and that always gets the bosses attention). Or just pay the money and have the vehicles equipped correctly so they are fit for purpose. I guess this will become more of an issue as budget cuts bite even deeper.
  5. Police will be forced to adopt a “paramilitary” style of enforcement if the government inflicts big budget cuts on them, the head of the police officers’ organisation has warned. Steve White, chair of the Police Federation, said his 123,000 members, from police constables to inspectors, fear a move towards a more violent style of policing as they try to keep law and order with even fewer officers than now. White told the Guardian that more cuts would be devastating: “You get a style of policing where the first options are teargas, rubber bullets and water cannon, which are the last options in the UK.” White said cuts would see the bedrock principle of British law enforcement, policing by consent, ripped apart. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation. Photograph: Police Federation/PA The week ahead sees the federation stage its annual conference, which starts on Tuesday 19 May. The key day will be Wednesday when the home secretary, Theresa May, will address rank-and-file officers. Last year May stunned delegates with a speech telling them to reform or be taken over by government, and telling them policing was failing too often. Police leaders have a fine line to walk in opposing cuts. Rank-and-file members are furious at the effects of austerity on their terms and conditions, as well as falling officer numbers nationally. But May and her advisers believe some members of the police force use over-the-top rhetoric in predictions that cuts would lead to chaos on the streets, and instead believe they should squeeze maximum value out of the public money given. White said police had already endured five years of austerity and were braced for more “swingeing cuts” after the election of a Conservative government with a majority. White said that since 2010, when the Conservative-led coalition started slashing its funding to police by 20%, the service had been cut by 17,000 officers and 17,000 civilian staff, but had managed to limit the effect on the public. He said the service was now “on its knees”, with some internal projections within policing of a further 20% to 25% of cuts by the end of the next parliament in 2020. This would lead to more than 15,000 officers disappearing off the streets, only being seen when responding to crime or serious events such as disorder on the streets. White said: “You are left with a police service who you only speak to in the direst of circumstances, a police service almost paramilitary in style.” “You police by consent by having a relationship with local communities. “If you don’t have a relationship, because the officers have been cut, you will lose the consent which means the face and style of policing changes. “The whole service, from top to bottom, is deeply concerned about the ability to provide the service that the public have come to expect over the next five years.” After the Conservative election win, May was reappointed to the Home Office. The party’s manifesto promised further reforms to police. There is no sign the Conservatives, emboldened by an electoral mandate, will reduce the size of cuts in government funding the police face. Related: Theresa May stuns Police Federation with vow to break its power White said: “The concept of the British bobby at the heart of policing will be coming to an end.” He said crucial parts of policing which help prevent crime are under threat, including prevention, reassurance patrols and neighbourhood policing. “The police officers we represent are telling is, day in and day out, that they are close to being on their knees,”the Federation chair said. The burgeoning stress on officers has led to increased mental health problems, increased sick leave and plunging morale, he claimed. White said policing needed longer-term planning, and less political turmoil, about how it is structured and what it continues to do and what it stops doing. He said political parties were too short term and big reforms could save money and limit the damage to policing. White said: “I’m saying give us more money or let us radically reform.” Some chiefs have talked privately about cuts so large their forces are reduced to 1980s-style policing, responding to crises only, with heavy cuts to prevention and building relationships with communities. West Midlands police is planning ending the bobby on the beat in some areas, and expects its funding from government to be cut by 40% by 2020, compared to the money it received from central government in 2010. Unlike the National Health Service, policing was not protected from cuts. The Conservatives point to the fact that official figures show crime has fallen, while police numbers have been cut and the service reformed. The Conservative manifesto for the general election pledged to “finish the job of police reform”, vowing that would boost confidence in the police. On Thursday Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer, assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, said he would fight for police to be kept on the beat, amid fears budget cuts will see fewer officers gathering potentially crucial intelligence needed to thwart a growing tide of terrorism. Rowley said he would stress in upcoming budget talks the “essential” role played by uniformed officers in neighbourhood teams. White won the top job in the embattled Police Federation last year on a promise to reform the organisation whose reputation had been tarnished. He beat his rival on the toss of a coin after the committee supposed to make the decision was evenly split. View the full article
  6. Quite a powerful video by the police federation.
  7. Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who had been brought in for the event as freelance referee, introduced the contenders: “Please welcome the home secretary Theresa May and the chair of the Police Federation, Steve White.” There was a long pause before either appeared and some in the audience began to wonder if the two had come to blows before they had even made it to the stage. When May addressed the Police Federation last year she had been received in total silence, after calling them out as a bunch of reactionary jobsworths who had lost the trust of the public. Expectations were high for the re-match. White was certainly in no mood to forgive or forget. He has the build of a bruiser and his speech was equally combative. The home secretary had been wrong about Plebgate and wrong about everything else. The country was now a less safe place, police morale was at rock-bottom and the public would be shocked if they really knew what was going on. “It would appear that the cuts have been nothing more than a smokescreen for ideological change,” he declared. This must be the first time a chair of the Police Federation has sounded like a firebrand neo-Marxist. Certainly well to the left of any of the likely contenders for the leadership of the Labour party. And how would White’s revolution be won? With Tasers. “We have called for a greater rollout of Taser, because we know it works,” he added, giving May a glare that suggested he would be happy to give her a practical demonstration. May briefly looked up to return the compliment with a “bring it on if you think you’re hard enough” stare of her own. With a final appeal to the home secretary’s conscience, White sat down to a rather reluctant standing ovation. Related: Stop scaremongering and prepare for further cuts, Theresa May tells police Conscience is something that seldom bothers the home secretary. Nor was she in the mood to give an inch. The conference slogan had been #cutshaveconsequences but for May they don’t. The electorate had just given her free rein to do whatever she liked without any of the touchy-feely Lib Dem nonsense and she intended to spend the next five years doing just that. There were plenty more reforms and cuts to the police that were needed and the federation could choose to work with her or not. On balance, she would rather they did, but she wasn’t that bothered either way. The police had been scaremongering and crying wolf for too long, she said. Moan, moan, moan, that’s all they did. How about catching some crims instead? “I want police cars to become mobile police stations.” Presumably that will mean using the boot as a holding cell. If only the police had the same conviction rate as May; the home secretary is so sure of herself she doesn’t even notice the contradictions in her own arguments. Having gone on at length about how the police needed to become less target driven, she introduced one of her own: Crime is falling. I am right and you are wrong. You can’t fight that kind of self-belief and much to White’s dismay the audience buckled and gave her a polite round of applause. She even took a few questions from members of the Old Bill. “Please don’t talk down to us,” one pleaded. May looked confused. How else was she meant to talk to a bunch of idiots? Once or twice, she tried to appear placatory. “I will go away and think about what you’ve said,” she promised (and then forget all about it, she didn’t add). The hardest question came from Guru-Murthy. “Wasn’t the whole point about the boy who cried wolf,” he asked, “that there was a wolf and the boy died?” If looks could kill. May smiled wanly, making a mental note to sack her speech-writer. And to remind the new culture secretary to make life as difficult for Channel 4 as for the BBC. View the full article
  8. Can I go to another forces Federation if unhappy with my own!?
  9. Every frontline uniformed police officer should be offered a Taser stun gun to fight off possible murder attempts by terrorists, says the leader of the body representing rank and file officers. Steve White, who chairs the Police Federation, said the availability of Tasers needed to be expanded because of evidence of terrorists’ plans to kill officers, who are traditionally unarmed. In an interview with the Guardian, White said: “The terrorist ideal to get attention no longer relies on an attack being in a place of note. It could be in Cheam high street, in any town, in any part of the UK. We know there are more dangerous people out there, preparing to attack police officers and we need to be able to respond to that threat.” Tasers use an electric current of up to 50,000 volts to incapacitate people and critics say the weapon is too often lethal. It has been linked to at least 10 deaths in England and Wales over the past decade. In 2013, the factory worker Jordan Lee Begley, 23, died two hours after a Greater Manchester officer targeted him with a stun gun at his home after police were called to reports of an argument. Police Federation leaders will vote next month on a proposal that every uniformed frontline officer should be offered training in the use of Tasers. Some may choose not to carry one. A fortnight ago, the terrorist threat level for police was raised to severe. Since then, police chiefs and representatives of Britain’s 127,000 rank and file officers have been considering how to counter that threat. White said the elevated threat of an attack on police, assessed by the intelligence services as being highly likely, meant that every officer was a potential target. “Talking to them with a cup of tea and a biscuit is not going to work,” he said. If the federation decides to formally call for an expansion in Taser availability, that would present a dilemma for police chiefs. If they or the government opposed such a move and an officer was then attacked, it would damage the already fragile confidence officers have in their professional and political leadership. Some senior officers are believed to support the idea in theory, but one police leader said chief constables would be mostly opposed. The police chief, speaking anonymously because of the sensitivity of the issues involved, told the Guardian that the plans risked jeopardising public confidence and changing the face of British policing. “The idea of arming every police officer with a Taser is alien to 200 years of police culture. It is a stepping stone to arming the police; something strapped to your hip that looks like a firearm is a huge shift in what we stand for.” Oliver Sprague, Amnesty International UK’s arms programme director, queried whether there was evidence that such a move would be worthwhile. “We’d ask the question: where’s the evidence that a terrorist will be deterred by the knowledge that police officers have Tasers at their disposal?” he said. “And who on earth thinks that if there’s a real instance of terrorist activity that Tasers would ever actually be sufficient for our law enforcement officers? “We’ve always said that Tasers can have a part to play in policing operations where there’s a clear risk of death or serious injury to police officers or members of the public – but Tasers should be used sparingly and only by highly trained officers.” The threat level for police was raised by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre based within MI5 after the terrorist attacks in Paris in which three police officers were killed, followed the next week by the thwarting of a plot in Belgium where police were the target. British counter-terrorism officials believe they have uncovered plans to attack officers and Islamic State propaganda earlier this month renewed a call for followers to attack the police. Tight gun control in Britain means the biggest danger comes from a terrorist with a knife or machete, similar to the fatal May 2013 attack on a soldier outside Woolwich barracks in south London. “As [the] Lee Rigby [murder] demonstrated, you don’t need to have a gun to create terrorism,” White said. The veteran firearms officer denied the idea amounted to arming officers: “It is a defensive tool and a tactical option. We have a largely unarmed service and the service wants that to remain. “The alternative is to have an officers out there without anything at all. We have to do something. The sector threat [to police] has gone up by two levels and we need to make sure everything is done to protect officers who protect the public.” In announcing the heightened alert to police earlier this month, calling on officers to be extra vigilant and take extra precautions, the national policing lead for counter-terrorism, assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, said further measures to enhance police safety were under consideration. “Chief constables across the country are reviewing how to strengthen the protection of their officers from attacks.” At present, about 10% of officers are trained to use Tasers. The training takes two to three days and costs £1,000 per officer. View the full article
  10. Dear Sir I was puzzled and disappointed to read in Jenni Russell’s comment article ‘Outdated police are swamped by cybercrime’ that the Police Federation is hampering the recruitment of ’20-something computer geeks’ as police constables because we are ‘far more interested in preserving existing jobs’. Puzzled because of all the national police bodies it is only the Police Federation of England and Wales that has consistently called for the service to adapt better to the modern world. And why wouldn’t we? It is our members that have to deal with the devastating effect of crime on victims. It is our members that can spend months bringing to justice those responsible. It is they, and we, who have done the most to push for the service to modernise. Ms Russell raises many issues facing the service but the solutions elude her. • Is the fall in reported crime down to less crime taking place or because the public know police resources aren’t there to deal with it? • If police officers focus their efforts on cybercrime instead of ‘offline’ crime, what should they tell victims who ring in to report burglary, robbery and rape? • Do businesses not report online fraud because they think police will do nothing or because they do not want to admit to their own failings? • Is it the £19,000 starting salary that does the most to put 20-something computer geeks off joining the police? I am disappointed by the article because the Police Federation has been banging the drum for many years about the same issues as Sir Tom Winsor, HM chief inspector of constabulary, including the importance of crime prevention and outdated police IT infrastructure. The fact these are still live issues is ultimately down to successive governments who have taken a short term view of policing more focused on the electoral cycle than what our members know works. Steve White Chairman Police Federation of England and Wales View the full article
  11. 08 January 2015 Police paused in “solidarity sympathy” today as they held a silence in memory of those officers murdered in the Paris terrorist attack. At 10.30am, marking 24 hours after the shootings at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where suspected Islamists killed 12 people, officers around the world held the two-minute silence. Officers paused at police stations around the country following the attack which has sent shockwaves through France and internationally. Tributes have been paid to those killed and the officers who paid the ultimate price as they tried to protect the magazine staff. Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, invited all forces to observe the silence and remember the sacrifices of officers in France, the UK and around the world. He added: “Recent weeks have seen a shocking number of incidents in the UK but also internationally in which officers have been either killed or seriously injured. Yesterday’s events in Paris serve as a stark reminder of the impact these violent acts and the ongoing threats of terrorism have on the police family and in particular on those officers who often bear the brunt in order to protect the public. It also demonstrated that the global community and the police service will not let the terrorists win. “As a mark of solidarity and respect, I invite all forces to observe a two-minute silence, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, at 10.30am today to remember the daily sacrifices made by police officers in France, the UK and around the world.” ACPO vice president and Greater Manchester Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “All members of the British police forces are shocked at the savagery of this attack. “In any democratic society it is the role of the police to protect basic human rights and our two French colleagues died protecting free speech. They knew the risks they were facing in carrying out their duty and clearly showed great bravery in trying to prevent the terrorists murdering others. "We stand in solidarity and express our great sympathy for their families and friends. "We have to stand together against this threat and we cannot be naive or complacent about how extremist ideologies seek to justify this complete disrespect for human life and for the values which ensure the freedom and welfare of all citizens. "We need the continued co-operation and support of the public to meet this threat but all members of British policing will be even more determined to face up to that very threat." View the full article
  12. Award Details KNIGHTS BACHELOR Matthew David Baggott, CBE, QPM. Formerly chief Constable, Police Service of Northern Ireland. For services to Policing in the United Kingdom. MVO Inspector Clive Graham Cox. Metropolitan Police. For services to Royalty Protection. MVO Inspector Terence Christopher Leach. Metropolitan Police. For services to Royalty Protection. CBE Miss Cressida Rose Dick, QPM. Assistant commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service. For services to Policing. CBE John Paul Randall. Formerly Independent Chair Police Negotiating Board and Police Advisory Board of England and Wales. For services to Policing. OBE Mrs Joanne Allison Ashworth. Director of Forensic Services of East Midlands Police Forces. For services to Forensic Science. OBE Philip John Chesworth. Formerly Detective Sergeant Police Scotland. For services to Counter Terrorism. OBE Kevin Paul Hyland. Formerly Detective Inspector Metropolitan Police Service. For services to Combating Human Trafficking. OBE Dr William Lawler. Forensic Pathologist. For services to the Police and Criminal Justice System. OBE Jeremy Charles Moore. Liaison Officer for Road Policing Association of chief Police Officers. For services to Road Safety and Policing. MBE Mrs Carole Margaret Louise Atkinson. Volunteer, Metropolitan Police Service. For voluntary service to the community in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. MBE Paul Edward Harrison. For services to Law Enforcement and the Public through the Metropolitan Police Service and St. John Ambulance. MBE Derek Royston Hopkins. Assistant chief Officer Special Constabulary, Essex Police. For services to the community in Essex. MBE Surinder Pal Singh Khurana. Volunteer Humberside Police. For services to the community In North East Lincolnshire. MBE Geoffrey Ogden. Volunteer Humberside Police. For services to the community in the East Riding of Yorkshire. MBE Jonathan Robert Pickles. Bradford Community Safety Inspector West Yorkshire Police. For services to Policing and the community in Bradford. MBE Colin William George Weston, JP. For services to the Magistracy and to the Police Authority in Dorset. BEM John Arthur Ayers. Special Constable Metropolitan Police Service. For services to Community Policing. BEM Andrew Cornett Clint. Chairman Armagh Police Voluntary Welfare Group. For services to the community in Armagh. BEM Miss Patricia Ann Gates. Secretary National Association of Retired Police Officers, Bristol. For services to Policing. BEM Mrs Jean Eileen Greenwood. Lead Volunteer, Rushcliffe Neighbourhood Policing Team, Nottinghamshire Police. For services to the local community. BEM John Hughes. Chairman Newtownabbey Police Voluntary Welfare Group. For services to Police Welfare in Northern Ireland. BEM Vincent Lobley. Volunteer Humberside Police. For services to the community in North East Lincolnshire. BEM Richard William Thomas Miles. Community Engagement Officer Northumbria Police. For services to the community. BEM Mrs Catherine Ann Mitchell. Cleaner, Annan Police Station. For services to Dumfries and Galloway Division, Police Scotland. BEM Ms Elizabeth Virgo. Volunteer Metropolitan Police Service. For voluntary service in Westminster, London. CMG James Jonathan Howard Morrison. Chief of Staff to the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Police. For services to the European External Action Service. MBE Maj Victoria Ellen McNeill. Adjutant General's Corps (Royal Military Police) QVRM George Kiteos. Superintendent Western Sovereign Base Area, Sovereign Base Areas Police. QPM (England and Wales) Simon John Alcock. Constable Suffolk Constabulary. QPM (England and Wales) Graham John Alexander Cassidy. Formerly chief Superintendent South Yorkshire Police. QPM (England and Wales) Ms Rebecca Cawsey. Detective Inspector Avon and Somerset Constabulary. QPM (England and Wales) Simon Edens. Deputy chief Constable Leicestershire Constabulary. QPM (England and Wales) James Lawson Guy. Chief Superintendent Eastern Sovereign Base Area, Cyprus. QPM (England and Wales) Steven Patrick Kershaw. Formerly Detective chief Superintendent Metropolitan Police Service. QPM (England and Wales) Paul Marshall. Formerly Deputy chief Constable Suffolk Constabulary. QPM (England and Wales) Ms Janette Elise McCormick. Deputy chief Constable Cheshire Constabulary. QPM (England and Wales) Ms Stephanie Morgan. Formerly Temporary Deputy chief Constable Leicestershire Constabulary. QPM (England and Wales) Gary Alwyne Parkin. Superintendent Derbyshire Constabulary. QPM (England and Wales) Ms Helen Spooner. Detective Inspector Cheshire Constabulary. QPM (England and Wales) Oliver Richard Tayler. Sergeant Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. QPM (England and Wales) Peter Hugh Terry. Commander Metropolitan Police Service. QPM (England and Wales) Jonathan Wilson Ward. Chief Superintendent Merseyside Police. QPM (England and Wales) David Charles Wildbore. Chief Superintendent British Transport Police. QPM (England and Wales) Giles Tristan York. Chief Constable Sussex Police. QPM (Scotland) Stephen Allen. Deputy chief Constable Police Service of Scotland. QPM (Scotland) Mark McLaren. Chief Superintendent Police Service of Scotland. QPM (Scotland) Marshall Moyes. Special Constable Police Service of Scotland. QPM (Northern Ireland) Simon McNee. Sergeant Police Service of Northern Ireland. QPM (Northern Ireland) Thomas Stevenson. Sergeant Police Service of Northern Ireland. QPM (Northern Ireland) Stephen Wilson. Detective Inspector Police Service of Northern Ireland. View the full article
  13. Locking up drunks is not the answer, so says Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales. The comments come following calls by Dr Clifford Mann, president of the College of Emergency Medicine, for police forces to instigate regular crackdowns on people who are drunk and disorderly as a deterrent to what he says is the fact that public drunkenness and associated attendances at A&E departments have become increasingly common. Dr Mann said: "I think we should have campaigns of zero tolerance in town centres for a period of a few weeks on a regular basis - people 'drunk and disorderly' should be charged and fined. A&E staff are fed up of dealing with verbal and physical abuse associated with alcohol intoxication - not just the patients but their companions. In already stretched departments their behaviour is an unwelcome and potentially dangerous distraction from the care of people who might reasonably be described as more deserving.” Steve White agrees it is an issue, but locking people up isn’t the answer: “Forces up and down the country regularly have campaigns to tackle drunk and disorderly behaviour. Alcohol is well-known to be a contributory factor in incidents of disorder but it is a complex issue and a crackdown on ‘troublesome drunks’ is too simplistic an answer. “Yes, our colleagues in the NHS should not be subject to abuse, nor should our officers. But hauling people through the courts isn’t always the answer either. That takes valuable time and resources to process, not just for the police, but also as people go through the courts and criminal justice system. “As a society we have a collective responsibility around alcohol – those who sell it as well as all of us who decide to drink it. The results of binge drinking can be hugely resource-intensive but equally the sad fact is that those who have real alcohol problems need treatment, support and rehabilitation, not just locking up. Alcoholism is an illness and needs treatment, but with the ever dwindling investment in public services this clearly isn’t going to be available and this pattern of behaviour will continue. “In addition, binge drinking is an issue for many communities and this is another illustration of the health service not being able to cope with demand for their services with those who are drunk taking up valuable treatment time from those in real need. The same can be said of forces – we simply do not have the resources and we are all at breaking point. “Police officers are well-versed in being used as social and health workers, but locking up people isn’t the answer and we are just not able to step in to fill the void where we have before. Campaigns to target disorderly behaviour are welcomed, but I would question whether that would really deal with the heart of the issue long term. “This is just another prime example of what is happening as a result of cuts to public services. With fewer officers and staff and less money, communities are suffering. Public services are no longer able to deal with these issues in the way that they have before and it is those who are in real need who are losing out. Again.” View the full article
  14. A new law on domestic violence, making it illegal for someone to exercise ‘coercive control’ over their partner, has today been announced by government. This will mean new powers for police officers, enabling them to prosecute those suspected of psychological and emotional abuse. For the first time those who control their partners through threats or by restricting their personal or financial freedom, could face prison in the same way as those who are violent towards them. While the government’s definition of domestic violence recognises the impact of coercive control and threatening behaviour, this has not previously been reflected in law. The new law will be introduced as a series of amendments to the Serious Crime Bill, currently going through the House of Lords, and is expected to be in statute in the new year. Paul Ford, Secretary, Police Federation National Detectives’ Forum said; “Domestic abuse accounts for 10% of all emergency calls making it a high priority area for the police service. Anything that encourages more victims to come forward and have confidence in the system is to be welcomed. “Today’s announcement means that there will be an offence that reflects the reality of domestic abuse in all its forms and this is a major step forward for those who have long been campaigning for a change in legislation. “The impact of coercive control cannot be underestimated and it is right that this is reflected in law and that those found guilty face the prospect of a substantial prison term. “However, consideration must be given to the resources needed to be able to meet expectation. “The service is currently stretched to capacity with more pressure daily to deliver with less. Domestic violence and abuse crimes are often complex and difficult to progress to prosecution. In addition to having resources in place, it is essential for officers to have the necessary training in order to understand the dynamics of different kinds of abuse and that this be reviewed regularly to meets national standards. “Policing is not the sole solution in tackling domestic abuse but a close collaboration with partner agencies in the statutory and voluntary sector. We will continue to work together to put victims first but it is our hope that the government puts the necessary investment in place to meet the rise in demand and expectation that this new offence will bring.” http://www.polfed.org/newsroom/2451.aspx
  15. Responding to the announcement today of the Police Grant Settlement 2015/16, Steve White, Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “Having already endured budget cuts in excess of 20 per cent and the subsequent loss of over 16,000 police officers, today’s announcement is yet another blow. A further cut of almost 5 per cent in the next financial year will mean the public just won’t be getting the same level of service. Less money means more cuts to frontline services and more pressure on officers, set against growing demands for service. “We are expected to police historic crimes dating back decades; deal with current crime and disorder, including the threat of international terrorism; and tackle the changing face of crime, including the immense resources that cyber-crime involves. “The police service is already at breaking point. Police officers are dealing with an increasing number of calls; often facing life threatening situations on their own and the public rightly want a police service that is there when they need it. They want a can-do service that is able to deal with whatever is thrown at it. I have no doubt that further budget cuts will jeopardise that. The police service has previously been able to rise to the disproportionate challenges put on it, but picking up the pieces and dealing with everything that is thrown its way is simply not possible. Officers simply cannot do any more and they, along with the public, will suffer as a result. “Year on year, we are seeing less money, fewer resources and fewer officers. It is a joke to expect the police service to continue to absorb cuts of this level and for it not to have a severe impact on policing.” View the full article
  16. ‘A consensus on policing in Wales’ has been launched by the Police Federation of England and Wales to Welsh Assembly members and a number of policing stakeholders. The title is a book of essays on policing within which a number of authors discuss the current and future policing landscape. Initiated by the Police Federation of England and Wales, its purpose is to generate discussion from a variety of contributors on this essential public service. The event was supported by Lord Elis-Thomas and the timing critical, preceding a debate on devolved policing in Wales. Although much of the future hinges on political decision making, the Police Federation of England and Wales, along with a number of external stakeholders, not least the public, have much to add to the debate. ‘A consensus on policing in Wales’ gives valuable insight from a number of influential authors, including Lord Alex Carlile of Berriew CBE QC, David Ford MLA, Glyn Jones, Unison, Rt Hon Elfyn Llwyd MP, and Peter Vaughan QPM, Chief Constable of South Wales. Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews said: “The Police Federation Book ’A Consensus on Policing in Wales’ is thought-provoking. It was interesting to see arguments for and against the devolution of policing, from the worlds of policing, politics and academia, brought together in one place. “The essays provide interesting views on the future of Policing in Wales and I was pleased to be able to take part in its launch.” Speaking at the event, Steve White, Chair, Police Federation of England and Wales said: “The issue is how we best preserve the best elements of British policing while adapting to new ways of working. “Police and Crime Commissioners, greater collaboration between forces, greater cooperation with other frontline services and agencies, defining what we must do are all part of the national debate we need to have; but there is also the dilemma of addressing what we may no longer be able to do. “These are all aspects which need to feed in to the debate on how we continue to do more with less without crossing the line and changing the very foundation and culture of British policing. If we step over this line, we may lose forever what has evolved over almost two centuries of modern policing. “This book of Welsh essays is hugely important. It contributes to the national debate, the important issue of devolution, the possible effect on regionalisation of services, structure, terms and conditions, and the potential impact on our national policing model which is heavily reliant on standardisation and consistency in order that officers can be deployed anywhere within England and Wales at any time. “The police service is accustomed to change; it has been developing and reforming continually for nearly two centuries. Whatever the future may bring, one thing is certain; the police officers that the Police Federation of England and Wales represent will continue to demonstrate they are the most dedicated, passionate, flexible and caring people with the interests of the public at their heart. What is important, though, is that whatever change is proposed, locally or nationally, now and in the future, those police officers are consulted and must be listened to. They know policing; they know what works for policing in their local communities; and they know Wales.” Click here to download a copy of the report in PDF format Notes to Editors For more information: Police Federation of England and Wales: [email protected] 01372 352071 Welsh Government: Jessica Fenton, 02920 898905 [email protected] Contributors to ‘a consensus in policing in Wales’ The Future of Policing in Wales – Fairness at the Heart of Policing Kate Bennett, National Director for Wales, Equality and Human Rights Commission Policing in Wales after Silk Dr Timothy Brain Police Federation Wales Lord Alex Carlile of Berriew CBE QC The Prince’s Trust and the Police in Wales Chris Conrad, National Police Liaison Officer Devolution of Policing in Northern Ireland David Ford MLA The Devolution of Policing: Merits and Risks Mick Giannasi, Chairman, Welsh Ambulance Service Trust Future Policing in Wales – a Contribution to the Debate Glyn Jones, Unison What the Silk Proposals will Mean for Policing in Wales Rt Hon Elfyn Llwyd MP The Changes to the Constitution as it Affects Policing David Melding AM Devolution as an Agenda for Policing Action Rt Hon Alun Michael Should Policing Be Devolved? Silvia Siladi: Undergraduate at the University of South Wales studying Sociology and Criminology Devolution During Unprecedented Change Peter Vaughan QPM, Chief Constable of South Wales Lord Elis-Thomas Steve White Leighton Andrews Leighton Andrews, David Melding, Steve White Leighton Andrews, Peter Vaughan and Steve White Leighton Andrews, Silvia Siladi and Steve White Leighton Andrews, Alun Michael and Steve White Leighton Andrews, Lord Elis-Thomas and Zac Mader Zac Mader, Leighton Andrews and Steve White View the full article
  17. 01 December 2014 Police are getting called out to attend random requests such as a man complaining of swans in his garden as experienced officers are being pulled out of a force control room. At the Kent Federation Open Meeting this week, Ian Pointon, chair of the Kent Police Federation, said the force control room has a policy of removing all officers with the exception of inspectors and above from the Kent Police call centre. “The staff within the force control room lose an important point of reference; somebody they can go to for valuable advice and guidance; somebody with years of policing experience; somebody who can sift the calls the police do not need to attend. This seems like madness to me. Perhaps it is time to push the pause button on this,” Mr Pointon told delegates at the meeting in Maidstone. Police officers gave a number of examples where they were being called out to situations which were not a ‘police matter’. Parents of an adopted child called police to say they were worried the child may have inherited her birth parents propensity to shop-lift. Another call, from a care home manager wanted police officers to speak to a man with advanced dementia about “his behaviour”. A man living next to a canal called with reports of “swans in his garden”. Mr Pointon added: “I say, even with my extremely limited medical qualifications, namely an out of date first aid certificate, I am positive that thievery isn’t genetically passed on from one generation to another.” The force is currently going through a culture change programme but Mr Pointon called for the force control room to be part of this as he had been given negative feedback. He said: “They painted a bleak picture. They described a culture of rigid protocols and policies that, far from guiding staff, actually bind them. They described a culture of blame and criticism, not learning.” A chief inspector, who worked in the control room, said that they need to get away from the ‘control centre’ model but that wider cultural change was also needed in the organisation. Kent Police is currently carrying out a cultural change programme looking at the whole organisation and how it operates. View the full article
  18. Widows should not be punished, says Police Federation The widow of a police officer who died on duty is campaigning for a change in pension regulations. The Police Federation of England and Wales is urging others to sign Kate Hall’s petition which is campaigning for police widows to keep their pensions for life, regardless of whether their relationship status changes after the death of their police officer spouse. Police Federation Legislation Sub-Committee Chairman Adele Kirkwood said: “We are calling on the Government to honour its commitment to the widows and widowers of police officers who die while in the force. “These men and women have paid the ultimate price to keep their communities safe and are often the main breadwinners of the families they leave behind. “Depriving widows of their pensions if they then go on to have another relationship seems like a double punishment and assumes that new partners are in a position to financially support widows and their children. This ultimately denies them money that is rightfully theirs, exposing them to financial hardship and is grossly unfair.” Kate was just 24 when her husband Colin, 40, collapsed and died after having a heart attack while working as a police dog handler for West Midlands police after being called to a disturbance at a block of flats in 1987. Their daughter Kelly was four at the time. After Colin’s death, Kate met her new partner, John, in 1994 when she enrolled in a college to improve her job prospects to support herself and her daughter. John was studying at the same college as Kate and they began a relationship. In 2001, they decided to live together as a couple, resulting in the loss of Kate’s police pension. Kate’s daughter, Kelly, is now 31 and wishes to marry her partner, but the young couple cannot afford to do so. It is customary for the parents of the bride to pay for the wedding, but the loss of Kelly’s police officer father and the cessation of Kate's widow’s pension, means that re-partnering comes as a double blow to mother and daughter. “This is something Colin would have done for her,” Kate said. Since 1 July this year, widows of officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland whose pensions were ceased on re-marriage have had their pensions re-instated. But those widowed before 1 January 1989 are still subject to 1988 regulations and work still in progress to ensure parity for all police widows in Northern Ireland. Kate has launched a petition calling for a similar change to be applied for those in England and Wales and the Police Federation is urging people to sign it. The petition also has the support of National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO). Chief Executive of NARPO, Clint Elliott said: “NARPO are supporting Kate’s campaign and we will continue to fight for a change to this outdated restriction which leaves police widows with the unenviable choice between a future relationship and financial security. “We hope the Government will lead the change that improves the position for our widow members and all police widows throughout the UK.” At the time of writing, Kate had 69,487 signatures on her petition. She needs 100,000 signatures before the petition can trigger a debate in Parliament. Sign Kate Hall’s petition here http://chn.ge/1AtSlw4 View the full article
  19. Following a 7-day trial Justice Mitting has today delivered his judgment in the case of Rowland v Mitchell. Steve White, Chair, Police Federation of England & Wales said: “We are pleased that the judge has ruled in PC Toby Rowland’s favour. Toby’s name has been cleared and his integrity restored. “Toby has conducted himself with dignity and professionalism in relation to this incident and subsequent enquiries and legal cases. “It is important that this incident is now brought to a close to allow Toby and his family to look to the future.” View the full article
  20. HMIC publish first annual all-force inspections on police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy (PEEL) Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “We have been warning there are issues around what the service can provide against cuts to funding and police numbers. Although we are pleased that the majority of forces are performing well, we know that officers are struggling to provide the service they believe the public deserve. “The Federation recently carried out a survey of around 4,000 detectives and found 61 per cent felt they were not able to provide the service victims needed, mostly due to workload pressures. We have also pressed the need for specific training to get officers up-to-speed on issues like cyber-crime, which often fall under the radar. Crimes against vulnerable people and child exploitation should also be at the top of the police agenda. We have highlighted that specific units that deal with these issues are being disbanded, alongside the erosion of neighbourhood policing, as police numbers are put under increasing pressure.” Full report here View the full article
  21. John Murphy, Secretary, Health & Safety Sub-Committee, Police Federation of England and Wales said: “Forces cannot afford to ignore the benefits to be gained by fully embracing digital technology. With reduced police officer numbers, there is now more pressure than ever to do more with less. Having the ability to effectively log and access information in real time would be hugely advantageous to the public, victims of crime, police officers and the service as a whole. “With fewer physical resources, there is a greater need to work smarter. It is therefore essential that government and forces start to prioritise and invest in the necessary technology to fully support officers on the ground.” Digitisation is a fast moving area of police work and one that the Home Office is offering funding for through their innovation initiative. On 27 November 2014, John Murphy is taking questions on digitisation and the impact on our people via the discussion room hosted on POLKA (the Police Online Knowledge Area). Officers need to log in to the Service Delivery and Business Transformation Community of POLKA from their force email address . Click here to listen to John Murphy talking about why it should be a priority for forces to engage in the digitisation programme. More details below. Police Digitisation Virtual Conference 27 November 2014 09.30 – 15.30 POLKA - Service Delivery and Business Transformation Community Tomorrow the College of Policing will be hosting a virtual conference on the POLKA website. This will be the first virtual conference to be held by the College that will focus on digitisation in policing, and will allow you to dip in and out throughout the course of the day without the need to travel. On the day itself we will set up a dedicated section of the Service Delivery and Business Transformation Community which will contain a number of ‘rooms’, each on a different topic – this will be obvious when you log on to the Community’s home page on the day. These rooms will contain a mix of: • pre-recorded videos; • defined time Hot Seat events allowing you to pose questions directly to, among others, National Business Area Leads such as CC Simon Parr (Information Management Business Area) and CC Simon Cole (Local Policing); • ongoing discussions hosted by subject matter experts on numerous topics such as digitising criminal justice, evaluating the impact of digitisation projects, multi-agency support available to forces, and the National Policing Vision 2016; as well as • helpful documents to download. If you would like to take part, please put this date and time in your diary and make sure you have joined the Service Delivery and Business Transformation Community within POLKA. Also please forward this invitation to any of your colleagues who you think would be interested. We’re sure you will find this a really informative and engaging day. View the full article
  22. The introduction of a new development programme for officers seeking promotion needs to be treated with caution. So says the Police Federation of England and Wales which has raised concerns about the programme since the pilot started. Hayley Aley, the lead on professional development for the Federation, said: “It was originally brought in 2009 when forces weren’t under as much financial pressure as they are now and the massive cuts to frontline policing were yet to hit. “While we do support the development of officers in the work place, the costs involved in implementing this may lead to corners being cut. Forces simply can’t deliver this in the way it was intended – especially because it does take time and resource to do it – luxuries we don’t have. “We also have had concerns about whether the equality impact assessment was sufficiently robust and the bureaucracy involved in the assessment process. “This has been a long-time coming and only time will tell as to whether our concerns have been addressed so we will be watching this closely and look forward to seeing the data to evaluate what the outcomes of this are.” View the full article
  23. Austerity measures implemented in 2010 has meant a 20% reduction in police budgets over 5 years, leading to the loss of capacity for mounted police operations, among other areas. A report published today by RAND Europe and the University of Oxford, Making and Breaking Barriers: Assessing the value of mounted police units in the UK, has concluded that they are a unique policing resource with both heightened response and public engagement value. The findings have been welcomed by the Police Federation of England and Wales. Rick Nelson, Secretary, Operational Policing Sub-committee, Police Federation of England and Wales said, “We fully support the conclusions the report has made in relation to adequately resourcing neighbourhood policing. “The unique value of mounted policing as a tool in relation to crowd control, violent demonstrations or natural disasters does not have an obvious substitute within other available police tools,” he said. There has been a net decline of 25% of police mounted capacity between April 2012 and December 2013. The number of forces with mounted units has been reduced from 17 to 12, being either disbanded completely or neighbouring forces amalgamating their mounted units. There is currently no national guidance for the necessary level of mounted resource required for an emergency response to a large-scale disorder or natural disaster, such as the floods in the winter of 2013-2014 where mounted police were required to access areas that were inaccessible to police vehicles or police on foot. The key findings of the report are as follows: - • Mounted police spend substantially more time on neighbourhood-level patrol or supporting local policing than on any other area of activity • In neighbourhood settings, mounted police patrols are associated with higher levels of visibility, trust and confidence in the police • In both neighbourhood and peaceful crowd settings, mounted police generate far greater levels of casual engagement, by volume over similar time periods, than foot officers. However, both generate approximately equivalent levels of extended engagements with members of the public • In football settings, the presence of mounted police has a statistically significant association with the incidence of arrests, the quality of police interactions with the public and possibly the incidence of disorder at matches. However, due to variability in the numbers of police officers deployed at these events, it remains uncertain whether there is a causal relationship between these factors • Based on anecdotal evidence, the public engagement value of mounted police in football settings appears lower than that observed in neighbourhood settings • In demonstration or public disorder settings, mounted police do not provide substantial public-engagement value, and their value in these situations appears mostly tactical • In specific instances where coercive crowd control is required, mounted police provide a unique capacity that does not have obvious equivalent among other available police tools • National newspaper coverage highlights the memorability of mounted police in demonstration settings, which provides a reminder of the risks of coercive intervention • The cost of mounted policing is unclear and may differ substantially between forces. Estimates from available data broadly suggest that mounted police cost approximately £6,550 per annum more than officers in other operational support roles and approximately £15,500 to £22,000 more per annum than the base costs of keeping an officer in the field • Overall, there are substantial points of commonality between ways in which mounted police are used in the UK and the ways in which they are used in other countries The full report: ‘Making and Breaking barriers: Assessing the value of mounted police units in the UK’ can be found here. Report compiled by Chris Giacomantonio, Ben Bradford, Matthew Davies and Richard Martin RAND Oxford University View the full article
  24. The Police Federation says that the target culture in the police service is impacting on the service they provide to victims. The response comes as Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary published a report today highlighting the under-recording of crimes, such as victims of violence against the person and sexual offences, as ‘wholly unacceptable’. Paul Ford, the Federation’s lead on crime recording issues, welcomed the findings of the report: “We are concerned about the target culture, where officers are pressurised into hitting key quotas in relation to particular crimes, and how this is impacting on the service to victims. The way crime is recorded is hap-hazard across forces. We have been working with HMIC to look at this issue and have reiterated a need for accuracy and integrity in order for the public to trust the validity of the crime figures. We all have a responsibility not to misrepresent crime statistics. “Policing is also far wider than crime recording and by failing to acknowledge this those that use crime statistics as the benchmark of success for policing do a disservice to communities and policing. “However, it is of concern to us that there is under-recording particularly around victims of violence and sexual offences. Victims need to be reassured they are getting the best service possible from their police service yet resources are also becoming so stretched which is impacting on how crime is being dealt with and recorded and on the training needed to deal effectively with issues such as crime recording.” The report, Crime-recording: making the victim count, focuses on whether police-recorded crime information can be trusted and looks at all 43 forces across England and Wales. It found that over 800,000 crimes reported to police have gone unrecorded each year – an under-recording of 19 per cent. The report shows the biggest issue lay with the recoding of violence against the person and sexual offences – with under-recording rates standing at 33 per cent and 26 per cent. The Federation has been raising concerns around the accuracy of crime recording for some time and contributed to recommendations put forward in the report by the House of Commons Public Administration Committee (PASC) report : Caught red-handed: why we can’t count on Police Recorded Crime Statistics published in April this year. A recent survey of nearly 4,000 detectives by the Police Federation’s National Detectives’ Forum found more than half, 61 per cent felt victims were not getting the service they need because of pressures on workload. View the full article
  25. The Home Secretary is being urged to change the law as a priority to ensure that people who kill police officers remain behind bars until they die. There is widespread anger among police officers and the public as a result of the news that police killer Harry Roberts has been released from prison. In a recent letter from Federation Chair Steve White to the Home Secretary Theresa May, Mr White explained that many police officers felt badly let down by the criminal justice system after hearing of Harry Roberts' release. Mr White said: “While Harry Roberts may have served 48 years in prison, we must not lose sight that he was involved in the brutal murder of three unarmed police officers; their families have been condemned to a life sentence without their loved ones. The public outcry also demonstrates the strength of feeling among the law-abiding British public who understand that police officers put themselves in dangerous positions to protect their communities, but rightly expect the backing of the law and criminal justice system in doing so.” Mr White also said that the Home Secretary should know personally from recent events, such as National Police Memorial Day and the Police Bravery Awards, that police officers charged with protecting the public frequently face extremely dangerous and life threatening situations. At PFEW’s annual conference in May 2013, the Home Secretary pledged to change the law so that anyone convicted of killing a police officer would receive a life sentence without parole. When news broke about Harry Robert’s imminent release the Home Secretary reiterated that position, saying: “I strongly believe that anyone who murders a police officer belongs behind bars for life. That is why I have made sure the Government will change the law so life will mean life for anyone who murders a police officer.” Mr White said: “The news about Harry Roberts’ release clearly demonstrates the need for urgent legislative change to ensure those convicted of killing police officers do remain in prison for their whole life.” Within his letter, Chair Steve White requested assurance from the Home Secretary that this matter would be a priority for her and her government. “This legislative change must happen as a matter of urgency if police officers and their families are to have peace of mind that they are supported by the criminal justice system.” Letter from Steve White to Home Secretary (PDF) View the full article
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