"Today's announcement comes just days after we called upon the Home Secretary to reject the Winsor Part 2 report and demonstrates the contempt this government displays towards police officers. Previously Mrs May promised to always back us and to support us. These were clearly just hollow words; meaningless sound bites in her early months in office. Theresa May has forced the hand of police officers across England and Wales to call for a ballot on whether they want industrial rights. They no longer have any trust or faith in the Home Secretary or this government."
These are very strong words from Paul Mckeever, the Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales. And why have these words been spoken by the head of the body protecting the rights of rank and file police officers?
Because the second part of the report by Tom Winsor; designed to pillage the police service, has not only been delivered, but all of its recommendations referred to the Police Arbitration Tribunal (PAT) by the Home Secretary Theresa May.
Time and time again May demonstrates her desire to destroy the Police Service and demoralise the current occupants of the role of Constable. Yes indeed, morale within the police service is at an all time low. Never before have officers felt so under-valued and expendable.
There will be a ballot on whether officers want industrial rights, the right to strike in effect. Ms May will have you believe that the majority of officers would not want to strike, WRONG!! Mark my words when the ballot results are in, they will show that in the region of 95% – 98% of officers have had enough of being pick pocketed and down trodden by this pathetic government and would go out on strike. I certainly would!
Where is the opposition to this government? Is Labour simply allowing the ConDems to ride rough shod over the Police? Come on Ed, get your act together, help your Police out, question and criticise these acts of abuse of position. Or is it that there is no political support for the Police from either party? I ask on all you Labour members, where is your leader? Missing in action?
Just like their handling of the fuel dispute demonstrates, this lot, (the ConDems) have absolutely no idea of how to interact with the public, no idea of the effect they are having on the lives of their Public Sector workers and even less idea of how disastrous the Winsor Report will be to the country as a whole. Or do they? Is it part of some sort of master plan?? Devalue the Police; get civilians in at a fraction of the cost, save money! save money! save money! no matter what the effect on society.
Here are just 1 or 2 of the gems Tom Winsor has conjured up from the Part 2 of the report. (All of which remember, May has referred to the PAT).
Recommendation 8 – From August 2013 there should be a direct entry Inspector scheme. Around half the scheme should be filled by candidates from outside the Police Force.
Divide and conquer!! That's what this one is all about, setting up a two tier system such as the Army with a 'Them and Us' culture, the officer class or 'Ruperts' as they are affectionately known in the military, supervising serious incidents, which could affect you and your family. A snobby, fresh out of University, green behind the ears Inspector, making decisions that will affect you and yours when you call the police, because you have been the victim of a sexual assault perhaps, something which you may want kept confidential, and dealt with efficiently.
What makes the Police service what it is, is that every officer no matter what rank, has started as a PC on the beat. They have worked their way up, they gain respect from their peers because they have been there and done it. What respect would a direct entry Inspector get, perhaps at the scene of a stabbing, from a seasoned Detective or Sergeant when he/she starts spouting quotes from the text book they read a few weeks after leaving college? None!
Recommendation 8 then – Verdict – Ridiculous!
Recommendation 20 – There should be a target that 20% of Superintendents are direct entrants within 10 years.
I'm sure Mr Winsor, has a sense of humour and has put this recommendation in as a bit of an April Fools' Joke!?
The sheer stupidity of this recommendation is staggering. Recommendation 8 would have a direct impact upon an individual member of the public having the misfortune to come into contact with a direct entry Inspector. The notion of a Superintendent, an area commander, coming straight out of training school and placed in charge of a whole Police area is hysterical!
Is this government intent on causing chaos? Look back at last year's riots. Experienced Superintendents struggled to contain and take charge of those incidents, what chance that of a 25 year old with a degree in Biology and 18 weeks Police training – absolutely none!!
Recommendation 20 then – Verdict – Even more ridiculous, so much so, I don't know whether to laugh or cry!!
Recommendation 43 – The normal pension age should be set at 60.
Criminals cheer, juvenile delinquents rejoice! Can anyone tell me how a man or woman of 60 years of age is going to be an effective Police Officer? Chasing and apprehending a violent robber perhaps? Fighting with an 18 year old outside a night club? Again this is a poorly thought out recommendation from a person with no experience of policing! There will be the occasional 60 year old who would be able to perform the duties of constable admirably I'm sure, but what about the vast majority who will simply be too old?
How about, when they are no longer fit to perform those duties they could be given a 'back office' or limited role. That would make sense, wouldn't it?
Not to Mr Winsor because he has made recommendation 38 and 39 – Changes and alterations to 'Restricted Duties'. These recommendations are aimed at officers who cannot perform a role which requires them to exercise their powers for over 12 months to lose pay!
Now we've got to the bottom of Recommendation 43!! – not just to save money on Pensions but enforce officers who have already been forced to work, in some cased over 10 years longer than what they agreed to when they signed up, to take drastic pay cuts in those years of enforced service at the end of their careers! – Oh and let us not forget the recommendations of Lord Hutton on pension reform who has recommended a career average pension! It's becoming even clearer isn't it?
Pay cuts to elderly officers = Lower career average earnings = lower pension payouts for the officers who have worked years longer than that originally planned!!
Recommendation 38, 39 & 43 – Verdict – A less than subtle and underhanded attempt to enforce people to work far past their useful age, expose them to even more danger than their previous 30 years and pay them less, whist both employed and in retirement.
We might not all be Learned Counsel Mr Winsor, but a few of us can see the woods through the trees!!
These are but a few of the highlights from Winsor Report part 2 – (The death of the Police service)
More to follow I'm sure!!