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Fedster

Staff association to represent all specials

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Fedster

Former chief officers group open to all volunteer officers.

Staff association to represent all specials

All specials in England and Wales will soon be able to join a staff association after what was a chief officer group voted to expand its membership.

The Association of Special Constabulary Chief Officers will become the Association of Special Constabulary Officers (ASCO), and open its doors to volunteer officers at any level of experience.

Among its plans is to train a network of representatives to represent specials at disciplinary matters which don’t meet the threshold for Home Office cover.

That cover currently only applies if gross misconduct or criminal accusations are levelled at a special.

The organisation describes itself as the UK’s lead body for volunteer policing, and takes part in research and tries to spread good practice. It also plans member discounts for third party organisations.

ASCO chairman Special Commissioner Ian Miller said: “We had a meeting on Saturday to see if we should get members to confirm they are happy for us to open our membership to all special constables regardless of rank and it was agreed.

“Many forces have been trying to expand their special constabularies in recent years but there hasn’t been a national organisation to speak for them.”

Membership fees for the association will be reviewed, but are currently set at £10 per year. The rank change will be effective as of next week.

The Police Federation of England and Wales voted to allow specials to join it in 2014 but the Home Office decided not to allow this.

The department said it would ensure specials have “the representation they need” in 2016, but is yet to change its policies regarding the officers.

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Beaker

This is actually good, though i'd have been happy enough paying Fed fees.

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Posh

If anyone has any questions then please fire away. I sit on the Council so should be able to help :) Also, all ASCO members are invited to the AGM which is all about building this Association from the grass roots up. Being held at Leicestershire HQ on June 16th. 

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Zulu 22

The question is, Why did the Home \office turn down the Police Federations proposal in 2014. Will the Homer office approve this.

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Beaker
If anyone has any questions then please fire away. I sit on the Council so should be able to help Also, all ASCO members are invited to the AGM which is all about building this Association from the grass roots up. Being held at Leicestershire HQ on June 16th. 
One thought, do you have anyone who can pull a website together? It is going to get a little more traffic now, and I know a lot of people are going to get upset with it. No doubt there will be SCs who can do something with it if you asked.

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Posh
1 hour ago, Zulu 22 said:

The question is, Why did the Home \office turn down the Police Federations proposal in 2014. Will the Homer office approve this.

Hi Zulu there are lots of reasons why personally I don't think the Fed is the right way forwards. That's not to take away from their successes, but our business case is tailor made to the voluntary nature of our membership and focussed on being exactly what Specials need, not moulding to fit. 

I really think local reps are for the majority fantastic and that will be part of our offering. There's also the case of cost, circa £360 p.a. for your average Special is a fair chunk when you look at our average socio demographic. 

Going forwards I'd like to see a collaborative relationship between both organisations on matters of mutual interest, but I wholeheartedly believe a separate organisation is the right thing for SC

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Posh
1 hour ago, Beaker said:
2 hours ago, Posh said:
If anyone has any questions then please fire away. I sit on the Council so should be able to help emoji4.png Also, all ASCO members are invited to the AGM which is all about building this Association from the grass roots up. Being held at Leicestershire HQ on June 16th. 

One thought, do you have anyone who can pull a website together? It is going to get a little more traffic now, and I know a lot of people are going to get upset with it. No doubt there will be SCs who can do something with it if you asked.

Hi Beaker

We do have a website located here: www.specialconstables.info We are actually looking to expand the support team so we'd certainly welcome any offers of assistance.

Our aim is to be self sufficient funding wise, so that means drawing upon the vast expertise of SC across the UK. Very much a "by members, for members" philosophy. 

What do you mean by upset?

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Burnsy2023

Pros of Fed Membership

A well established organisation with many processes well written and reviewed.

Good insurance which is well trusted and used.

Part of an organisation which has well established links with the territorial police forces and the Home Office

Experienced Fed reps who have a wealth of knowledge and experience. Fed reps also get time out of normal duties for Fed business.

Lots of other benefits, such as access to rehabilitation and leisure facilities

Integrated into force policies such as Post Incident Procedure which mean officers get support when they need it automatically (at least in my force).

Cons of Fed Membership

Split priorities and motivations when it comes to Specials and their existing membership. May not represent the best interests of the SC.

Would have been quite expensive to be a member. Prohibitive for some.

Pros of ASCCO

Run by people who understand the motivations of the SC and are progressive in professionalising Specials.

Cheaper?

Cons of ASCCO

No Infrastructure or personnel. 

Run on a shoestring.

Training SC "fed members" isn't easy. Not sure I'd trust an SC representative.

Basically doesn't have the pros of the Fed and may take a long time to mature into a competent organisation.

 

Edited by Burnsy2023

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Beaker
17 minutes ago, Posh said:

Hi Beaker

We do have a website located here: www.specialconstables.info We are actually looking to expand the support team so we'd certainly welcome any offers of assistance.

Our aim is to be self sufficient funding wise, so that means drawing upon the vast expertise of SC across the UK. Very much a "by members, for members" philosophy. 

What do you mean by upset?

It's a tad old fashioned looking, and the kids these days get all grumpy about websites that are functional rather than pretty.   Personally I still like websites that are black with green writing. 

Edited by Beaker

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Indiana Jones

In the grand scheme of things, I don't see it as high priority.

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Posh

I think a good website that's kept up to date is important for conveying our message, so if you know anyone who's suitably skilled then please get in touch. 

 

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Beaker
In the grand scheme of things, I don't see it as high priority.
I'd disagree. It is their Storefront, and first point of contact for anyone wanting to join. Currently there won't be anything involved during SC induction about it, so it needs to be accessible and welcoming. Adding in member information, contact lists etc etc, about us sections and similar add a great amount of value.
Ultimately it needs to project professionalism while also being easy to use.

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Posh
13 hours ago, Burnsy2023 said:

Pros of Fed Membership

A well established organisation with many processes well written and reviewed.

Much of our processes are either governed by legislation, constitution or the Code of Ethics so I don't think there's much ambiguity in the how and intent of operation.  

13 hours ago, Burnsy2023 said:

Good insurance which is well trusted and used.

We have our own insurance under the ARC scheme, which is free. Loss of earnings is also covered by legislation should that situation arise. 

13 hours ago, Burnsy2023 said:

Part of an organisation which has well established links with the territorial police forces and the Home Office

We currently sit on all of the high level groups with the HO, College and NPCC. We also have good links with lots of Forces and part of our work this year is hitting 100%.

13 hours ago, Burnsy2023 said:

Experienced Fed reps who have a wealth of knowledge and experience. Fed reps also get time out of normal duties for Fed business.

We will be training reps to deal with misconduct and will have a very small number of full time staff to manage day to day running of the Association. 

13 hours ago, Burnsy2023 said:

Lots of other benefits, such as access to rehabilitation and leisure facilities

The rehab centres are at an additional cost, both Flint House and another one I can't recall have opened their membership to SC

13 hours ago, Burnsy2023 said:

Integrated into force policies such as Post Incident Procedure which mean officers get support when they need it automatically (at least in my force).

PIP varies by Force, for example in my Force the PIMs are wholly independent and will support everyone. I'd also suggest if it looks like it's going wrong then it would be Gross and the ARC would kick in with our support. Although certainly some work to do around this. 

 

Hi Burnsy, just looking at your Fed Pros here's my take on them...

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Burnsy2023
5 hours ago, Posh said:

Hi Burnsy, just looking at your Fed Pros here's my take on them...

Thanks for that. I'll be honest, I'm not convinced yet. I am open to being convinced over time, but I think it could be a very long time before ASCCO could give equivalent and consistent support to SCs nationally. My biggest issue is that could be many years and until then, SCs still don't have reliable support.

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Beaker
I think a good website that's kept up to date is important for conveying our message, so if you know anyone who's suitably skilled then please get in touch. 
 
Sorry missed this (working nights is a killer). I'll take a look if you like. I'm no genius, but I have a few possible ideas.

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