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  1. Could three police-related fatalities on roads have put the brake on changes to laws. Drawing a line: Have latest deaths changed stance on pursuit legislation? Date - 28th January 2019 By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle 1 Comment Three police-related fatalities on the roads within hours may mean a “big announcement” on the future of more protection in law for pursuit drivers has to be parked for now. Years of campaigning on a formal strategy looked to have secured the support of the police watchdog to back officers who are appropriately trained to be able to pursue suspects or respond to emergencies “without fear of prosecution or disciplinary action”. The necessary changes were set to be given a ‘voice’ at the Police Federation roads policing conference on Tuesday in a keynote speech by its portfolio lead Sergeant Tim Rogers. But attempts to prevent more officers suffering “unnecessary and often mendacious” litigation could have literally been ‘hit’ by the tragic events of midnight on Tuesday and Wednesday lunchtime. In that brief timespan: Off-duty PCSO Holly Burke, 28, died when her car was struck by a vehicle that failed to stop for West Midlands officers following a police pursuit in Birmingham on Tuesday night; At around the same time in Walthamstow, east London, Eritrean refugee Luam Gebremariam died after being hit by a police car responding to an emergency call; and At midday on Wednesday, 74-year-old Jessie Whitehead suffered fatal injuries after being struck by a Warwickshire Police car responding to a reported “road safety hazard”. She was riding a mobility scooter. In August the Independent Office for Police Conduct totally accepted the view the law does not take into account the expert training and experience of police drivers. Police drivers involved in pursuits or responding to emergencies are currently held to the driving standard of a “careful and competent” motorist. That, the IOPC stated, needed the word ‘motorist’ changing to ‘police driver’. It added: “We would like the legislation to specifically state that this is a police driver ‘trained to the relevant appropriate standard.’ “This separate standard will allow investigators and the Crown Prosecution Service to take account of a driver’s higher level of training and skill. It will also reinforce the importance of police drivers receiving high quality training.” But the trio of police-related fatalities on roads in London and the Midlands bring into the spotlight “concerns from a public perspective”, according to the IOPC, as do these figures. There were 29 police-related fatalities on the roads in 2017-18, of which 17 were "pursuit-related", according to IOPC. Eight involved police vehicles responding to emergency calls. In the previous year, 2016-17, there were 32 fatalities on the roads involving the police. Of those, 28 related to pursuits and none involved police responding to emergency calls. There have been 253 police-related fatalities on the roads in the last decade – the worst year being 2008-9 when the deaths numbered 40. IOPC deputy director general Ian Todd told Police Oracle: “The death of even one person on the roads, let alone three in such a short space of time, will be of concern, and we extend our sympathies to the families of those who have been killed and everyone else affected. “We will be independently investigating these incidents based on their own unique sets of circumstances. “Importantly, as well as examining whether the police drivers were suitably trained and followed agreed police policies and procedures we will also look to see if there are changes and improvements which can be made to those procedures to reduce the risks of deaths and serious injuries in the future.” The IOPC admits it has been working behind the scenes with the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing “on this area of policing”. The group intends to meet very shortly with road safety organisations to “look at concerns from a public perspective”, adding: “We want to focus our work on where we can maximise learning and influence change.” The safety charities find themselves in an ambivalent position on the issue. A spokesman for Brake told Police Oracle: “The police must be able to respond quickly to emergency situations, but this must be balanced with any potential danger posed to the public by their emergency driving. “Any death on the road involving the emergency services has to give serious cause for concern, and we would encourage police chiefs to review and update their guidance for their officers who are responding to emergency calls or engaged in ‘blue light’ pursuits.” Nick Lloyd, acting head of road safety for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: "This type of driving creates a significant extra risk to the police officers in the car and to other road users. "The public safety risk to which the police are responding, and the risk created by the emergency drive, must be balanced. Emergency blue light drives should only be undertaken when essential, and by authorised and trained police drivers." View On Police Otacle
  2. PFEW warns service 'sleepwalking into a nightmare'. Downbeat: PFEW vice chairman Che Donald has the service on the critical list Policing in the UK was placed on the “critical list” today as new workforce figures showed officer numbers at their lowest level for nearly 40 years. Latest Home Office statistics confirmed no respite in the headlining decline of police officers in England and Wales since its peak of 143,769 in 2009. The March 2018 Police Workforce bulletin revealed 122,404 officers keeping the public safe, with a further drop of 738 from 123,142 over the past 12 months. The decade-long loss of 21,331 – 15 per cent – continues the downward trend and the lowest number of officers since comparable records began in 1996. Figures earlier than this do not draw direct parallels but 1981 saw a bottoming out of the service at 118,102 officers. The latest depressing stats come on the day that knife crime has reached its highest level ever – up 16 per cent to a staggering 40,147 incidents with murders increasing by 12 per cent, robberies up nearly a third and hospital admissions for knife crime rising 14 per cent. Police Federation of England and Wales vice chairman Ché Donald conceded: “These new figures are proof, as if we even needed it, that policing in the UK is on the critical list. “Thanks to government funding cuts, we now have the lowest number of police officers since 1996. The figures show we have lost more than 21,300 officers since 2010 – and the numbers keep going down every year. It’s like Groundhog Day.” Mr Donald added: “We have a government who recently launched a Serious Violence Strategy – yet failed to make one single mention of the falling numbers of officers, which they were rightly criticised for. “You would think that every time we have the same conversations about rising crime, particularly violent crime, it would be a wake-up call for the government. But instead it just feels like we are sleepwalking into a nightmare.” Although the officer numbers fell for a ninth consecutive year, the government report saw the number of police workers increase slightly by 0.5 per cent between March 2017 and this March from 198,686 to 199,752 – the first yearly increase since 2010. But the rise was entirely attributable to a three per cent increase in police staff and designated officers. The 0.6 per cent fall in officer numbers did not stop a rise in officer ranks in 22 of the 43 forces in the last 12 months. Of these forces, Humberside (an increase of 153 officers - nine per cent) and Gwent (increase of 89 officers; - eight per cent) had the largest increases in percentage terms, while the Metropolitan Police Service lost 1,127 officers (four per cent). Frontline officer numbers fell by 1.6 per cent from 105,502 to 103,837 with the proportion of officers in those roles down one percentage point to 92 per cent, after previously remaining stable over the last three years. Numbers in local policing roles fell by five per cent over the same period, to 53,822 with the proportion of officers down two percentage points to 48 per cent. Police officers make up the largest proportion of paid workers in the service at just under two thirds (61 per cent). Since 2010, that composition has risen from 59 per cent with the proportion of police staff falling from 33 per cent to 31 per cent in the same period. PCSOs are down from seven to five per cent in proportional terms. There is encouraging news on the recruitment front with 8,130 officers joining the ranks in 2017/18 – the volume increasing by an encouraging eight per cent. Some 8,574 officers left the 43 forces, accounting for seven per cent of officers employed at the start of the year. Excluding transfers, the wastage rate was six per cent. Voluntary resignations has been increasing, from 1,522 in 2013/14 to 1,995 in 2017/18, up 31 per cent. In diversity terms, some seven percent of all officers were black and minority ethnic which is the highest proportion of BME officers since records began. However, the service continues to under-represent those from a BME background –exactly half of the 14 per cent of the population. There was another ‘highest ever’ recorded in terms of female officers in the service – the 36,417 number representing 30 per cent. And there was more good news on the diversity front with some nine per cent of joiners were BME, compared with five per cent of leavers, and 34 per cent of joiners were women, compared with 24 per cent of leavers. Just over half of the officer workforce (53 per cent) is over 40 with only six per cent under 26. In 2017/18 there were over 26,000 assaults on officers in England and Wales including British Transport Police. Crimes of ‘assault without injury on a constable’ rose by 10 per cent from 16,536 to 18,114 with the remaining 8,181 crimes in the ‘assault’ category. But it was the first year that reliable figures were available courtesy of the new ‘assault with injury’ crime classification. Previously, the Home Office used a combination of self-reported assaults data held within police forces’ health and safety systems and police recorded crime data of ‘assault without injury on a constable’ to estimate the total number of assaults. View On Police Oracle
  3. Fed Chairman says 'very complex and protracted process' completed and will serve officers and the public. PFEW Chairman Steve White A fundamental change in the way the Police Federation of England and Wales operates passed its final hurdle today when new regulations were laid in Parliament. The PFEW has been undergoing a root and branch review, having embarked on a change programme in 2014 after it commissioned its own review in order to improve working practices. The Independent Review managed by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) was led by Sir David Normington and made 36 recommendations to the way it worked, all of which the PFEW agreed to adopt. Since then each recommendation has been worked through but because PFEW was created by an act of parliament, many have been subject to obtaining legislative change. Out-going PFEW chairman Steve White said this week’s parliamentary activity was the culmination of three years’ hard work and was a positive move for the organisation and officers. He said: “This has been a very complex and protracted process, with a highly complex legal process, lots of legal argument and detailed discussion in order to ensure what we are putting in place is fit for purpose and serves officers - and ultimately the public – well, and long into the future. "We were committed to implementing the recommendations of the review despite resistance from some of those within at times for that change to happen. “But it was clear there was a real need to modernise the Federation so that it was fit for a modern day police service – structures set up in 1919 clearly do not resonate nearly 100 years later: society has changed beyond measure and it was right that we did too. "There is still much work to be done as we embed changes but we are proud to present a more professional organisation which represents thousands of hard working police officers across England and Wales and today’s achievement is testament to the incredible hard work of our General Secretary Andy Fittes and those who have supported him on the Change Board as we worked closely with the Home Office looking carefully at the detail of all the change.” In May Mr Fittes told Police Oracle the “complicated process” could not be rushed. The PFEW was set up by the Police Act 1919 (current rules now found under the Police Act 1996) after two British police strikes in 1918 and 1919. The government at the time was concerned by the prospect of the police striking again and so created the PFEW, withdrawing the right of officers to strike but instead allowing the PFEW to negotiate on all matters concerning its membership's pay, allowances, hours of duty, annual leave, pensions and other conditions of service. A new transparency, improved standards of conduct and integrity, improved election procedures and better financial management as well as a concerted drive to improve representation form female and BME groups were just part of the comprehensive and complete overhaul to a structure which had hardly changed in the Federation’s 100 year old history. Mr White added: “In fulfilling our statutory responsibilities for the welfare and efficiency of our members we will continue to modernise the Federation and improve the way we work to ensure we – and the 43 local federation branches – make the best use of our resources, are accountable and provide the best service we can for our members and the public they serve.” The new legislation is due to become law by December 31 2017 View On Police Oracle
  4. 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
  5. So, back in May 2014 at the last Police Federation conference it was stated that Specials would now be allowed to join and need to pay full subscription fees.   But since then I personally have heard nothing from the Police Federation or my local branch representative(s) about joining. Has anybody else heard anything? 
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. ‘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: communications@polfed.org 01372 352071 Welsh Government: Jessica Fenton, 02920 898905 jessica.fenton@wales.gsi.gov.uk 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. Police Remuneration Review Body The Home Office has yesterday (Tuesday 4 November) published the remit it has given the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) when it comes to considering police pay and conditions in the future.   The remit, which can be read in full here, gives the PRRB guidance around what it should consider this first year when making its recommendations and the parameters within which it should fit.   The Home Secretary has asked: - What adjustments should be made to pay and allowances for officers up to and including Chief Superintendents; - Whether an additional amount (the London Lead) should continue to be paid to the inspecting ranks in London; and - For observations on the level and scope of existing arrangements for differences of police officer pay and allowances at regional and local level (with a view to making recommendations in future years).   The Home Secretary has also made it clear that recommendations have to have regard to government policy on public sector pay for 2015/16 being an average of up to one per cent. The PFEW has been working for some time with a number of other stakeholders including the Superintendents’ Association, ACPO and PCCs - as well as with the PRRB - to ensure that comprehensive evidence can be collated and presented in order to secure the best deal possible for our members. Now that the remit letter has been published this work will continue at pace.   Next steps PFEW has to submit its written evidence to the PRRB by Friday 9 January 2015. The PRRB has until 19 June 2015 to submit its recommendations to the Home Secretary. The outcome is expected to be published in September 2015. View the full article
  23. Special Constables are to be invited to join the Police Federation as full subscribing members after a favourable vote at the body's Annual General Meeting. The conference motion stated Specials wanting to join will be "required to pay the same rate of subscription to the voluntary fund as serving officers in order to access the full range of membership services." This currently stands at £21.58 a month. John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, said: "Today we have made the right decision. As a former Special Constable and somebody who can see the real benefit our Special Constable colleagues bring to policing it is right and proper they are welcomed as Federation members. "Special Constables are an integral part of our business, they carry a warrant card and provide invaluable support to our members. This is a great result and one I am proud to support." There are presently some 18,000 Special Constables in England and Wales. Only 12.5 per cent of Special Constables responded to a federation online survey last year asking whether they wanted to join the Staff Association. Of those that responded 2,356 (94 per cent) said they would choose to become a member of the Police Federation. Earlier in the conference, Ian Miller, a City of London Police Special and a member of the Association of Special Constabulary Chief Officers (ASCCO), said that this low turn out was possibly a reflection of the fact that the conference has consistently voted no to allowing specials to join. "I don't think the vote was a true picture," he said. "They are aware of the 'no' vote from the last conference and when it is discussed among Specials there is a feeling that 'they wont vote for us anyway.'" DCC Michael Banks, from Durham Police, who leads nationally on Specials, told the conference that volunteer officers worked four and a half million hours for the police service last year. This was the equivalent of £75 million in manpower costs. So what's your thoughts? Would you consider joining the Police Federation and having the luxury of all the protection for the legal services , representation for your welfare and of course a free diary each year ?
  24. A lack of officer training and force funding could undermine government plans to scrap police cautions, the Police Federation has warned. Austerity measures are making it difficult for forces to properly support victims and witnesses and this damages trust with communities.   Paul Ford, a Police Federation of England and Wales spokesman warned this could threaten the positive change the reforms aim to bring about. The planned reforms, announced yesterday by justice secretary Chris Grayling, would see cautions and other out of court sanctions replaced by suspended prosecutions. The new approach will be trialled in three police force areas over the next 12 months, and if successful, ministers aim to replicate it over the country.   Mr Ford said: “If the pilot proves to increase confidence and effectiveness of the criminal justice system, it will be beneficial for everyone. "It should be noted however that lack of sufficient training in this area may pose a threat to its potential success. The most effective way to prevent crime is to have a well-funded and highly trained police service that is visible and readily available in communities. "It must be acknowledged that due to austerity measures, policing is under significant strain and is struggling to provide effective support to victims and witnesses. "This fundamentally undermines confidence in the criminal justice system and must be addressed in order to allow for the potential positive change this pilot could provide.” View the full article
  25. Victims of crime are suffering with a poorer service because cuts to the police budget have resulted in added strain and pressure on detectives, according to a new survey published today. The results of a national detectives’ survey undertaken by the Police Federation of England and Wales presents stark findings.   Not only do the results highlight the continuing pressure that detective officers throughout the country are under, more significantly they show that detectives throughout the country believe victims and witnesses of crime are getting a substandard level of service as a result.   The results voice the concerns of nearly 4,000 detective officers in England and Wales.  The pressure on this vital investigative role in policing is taking its toll, with only 39% of respondents saying that they are ‘able most or all of the time to provide the service victims needed.’ This means most victims are not getting the service they need since the majority of officers (61%) are never or only sometimes able to provide the service needed, due to workload.   Also, 34% of detectives who responded said that they are ‘able most or all of the time to provide the service witnesses needed’- again meaning that, due to workload, the majority of officers (66%) are never or only sometimes able to provide the services that should be afforded to witnesses who are vital in helping bring cases to court to protect the public. Overall this shows a less than satisfactory service to the general public; for detectives throughout the country this is causing angst and frustration as they are stretched to capacity to deliver what they can in difficult circumstances.   Paul Ford, Secretary, Police Federation’s National Detectives’ Forum, said: “No officer in the country wants to let the public down.  The results of this survey makes for very uncomfortable reading but highlights in no uncertain terms the actual impact that the cuts are having on victims, witnesses, detective officers and the police service as a whole. “This is the sad reality of the state that the service is in.  Victims and witnesses are our primary concern and it is grossly unfair that detectives are under such intense pressure to provide the service that the public want and deserve.   “Officers are clearly stretched to capacity and doing their level best to deliver against the odds. The austerity cuts are having an effect on everyone but this is totally unacceptable; it is jeopardising the service the public get and will have a detrimental impact on future successful investigations and prosecutions.”   The results also show: 54% said they did not have the necessary access to technology in order to perform their role effectively; 80% said service cuts have impacted on their well-being; 52% said that their working hours are not flexible for those with caring responsibilities; 88% said an increased workload has led them to feel under pressure; 74% said that work keeps them away from family/social activities more than they would like; In comparison with a similar survey undertaken by the Police Federation last year, 90% of respondents now think the police service to the public has deteriorated – of which 55% think that it has deteriorated a lot.   The National Detectives’ Survey was conducted by the Police Federation of England & Wales between 11 September and 3 October 2014. Detective officers throughout England and Wales were invited to participate in the survey, the purpose of which was to gauge the opinion of detective officers throughout the country, the current challenges facing the role, how officers feel in their role and what matters to them in the current policing landscape. There were 3,972 responses, from the rank of DC to DCI.   View the full article

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