Author Archives: Paul Budd

Pay Award – Legal Challlenge

Following the Home Secretary’s failure to honour in full the recommendations of the independent Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB), the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has started proceedings with the Home Office which could lead to a Judicial Review of the decision.

John Apter, Chair of PFEW, said: “For the second successive year the Home Office has cheated police officers out of the pay increase they should receive; this year officers being awarded a derisory 2% increase, despite the recommendation of the PRRB – the independent body established by this Government to make evidence-based recommendations on police pay – that it should be 3%.

“In response to this betrayal and based on legal advice, PFEW has instructed solicitors to start Judicial Review proceedings against the Home Secretary on the basis that he has stated that the pay decision was a Government decision and not his decision alone.

“Police officers must be treated fairly and have confidence that any independent pay recommendations will be accepted in full by the Home Secretary.

“I know the deep sense of anger felt by many of our members about the way they have been treated. This is why we have taken this action and make no apology for doing so. Doing nothing was simply not an option and it is right and proper that we challenge this unfairness legally.”

Assault an officer – expect a custodial sentence!

A South Bristol man has been jailed for four months for assaulting two police officers.

Willliam H Walker, aged 63, from Knowle was jailed at Bristol Crown Court for assaulting the officers when they were called out to a public order incident in Newquay Road, on June 10.

Paul Bolton-Jones, inspector in South Bristol, said: “Violence and assaults on our police officers will not be tolerated and this sends a clear message that the criminal justice system does not take it lightly.

“We are here to protect our communities and keep people safe and when our officers are called out by the public to help resolve a situation they should not have to face becoming the victims of physical assaults themselves.”

Chairman Andy Roebuck added “whilst we support the custodial sentence, our thoughts are with the officers who have simply attended an incident to help people who were already in fear. Officers don’t come to work to be punched, kicked, spat at or threatened with weapons. They come to work to help people and try to do their best in what are now very difficult times. An assault on a police officer is in itself an assault on society. As such people who assault police officers and other emergency workers should expect a custodial sentence.”

Police Memorial Day 2018 – Local Service

This year will be the 10th local Police Memorial Day service and it will be taking place in Weston-super-Mare thanks to the hard work of a number of individuals, but particularly Chief Inspector Leanne Pook, retired sergeant Neil Goodwin and sergeant Peter Land.

The Avon and Somerset Police Federation is proud to sponsor the event and support a local service for officers and familes that wish to pay their respects. The service will take place at Clarence Park Baptist Church, Walliscote Road, Weston-super-Mare this Sunday, 30th September 2018. You need to be at the church by 2.45pm for the service between 3pm – 4pm. Refreshments will follow the service and the Police Choir, Mace Escort and Fire Service contingent will again be supporting this event. The service is honored to be joined once again by families of fallen officers and we aim to have a good congregation supporting them as the event is open to families and friends of officers and staff.

The National Police Memorial Day aims to, remember police officers who have been killed or died on duty, demonstrate to relatives, friends and colleagues of fallen officers that their sacrifice is not forgotten and recognise annually the dedication to duty and courage displayed by police officers.

As in the past it has been good to see so many retired officers at the event supporting their serving colleagues and families.

In another year that has been difficult for the policing family too many names have been added to the growing roll of honour. Come along and join use in paying respects to those who are no longer with us and supporting those families that have lost a loved one.

More Officers Take Second Jobs

More police officers than ever (7.8%) have taken second jobs according to the headline results of our latest pay and morale survey. This is up from 6.3% of respondents in 2017.

A staggering 44.8% said they worry about the state of their personal finances either every day or almost every day and more than one in nine (11.8%) said they never or almost never have enough money to cover all of their essentials. This is up from 11% last year.

The vast majority of respondents, 87.9%, do not feel fairly paid considering the stresses and strains of their job.

This has never been more relevant after the Government’s recent announcement of a derisory 2% pay increase for police from September, which in real terms amounts to an uplift of just 0.85% – police officer pay has now decreased by around 18% since 2009/10.

More than 27,000 police officers – nearly a quarter of all ranks from constable to chief inspector – took part in our survey which was open between April and May this year.  The findings provide vital evidence to inform our work on pay and conditions.

John Apter, recently elected as national Chair, said: “Although this hardly comes as a surprise, the results make grim reading. Our members are clearly suffering from even worse financial pressures than last year, with some appearing to be in dire straits.

“Our members are under immense pressure to deliver, with dwindling resources and rising crime – particularly violent crime – leading to a demand for our services that has never been higher. All they want is to be adequately paid for the job that they do.

“We know officers are struggling and some have had to resort to food vouchers and other welfare schemes. This clearly cannot be right or acceptable that those employed to keep the public safe cannot make ends meet or put food on tables for their families.

“We have continually warned that policing is on the critical list; Government cuts mean fewer officers – 22,000 since 2010 – and the resulting pressure this puts on our members is immense.”

The survey revealed locally in Avon and Somerset:

  • 79% said they feel financially worse off than they did five years ago
  • 47.6% reported worrying about the state of their personal finances every day or almost every day
  • for the fifth year running there has been an increase in those who were dissatisfied with their basic pay: 74.1% compared with 73.5% last year – this is the highest level since the survey began.
  • 9.4% told us that they had an intention to leave the police service either within the next 2 years or as soon as possible. A further 17.4% of respondents said that they currently do not know what their intentions are with regards to staying in or leaving the police.The highest impact factors being the effect on family and personal life and morale.

Mr Apter added: “In recent weeks we’ve seen thousands of officers deployed from their home forces and diverted to provide mutual aid covering both Donald Trump’s visit and the nerve agent poisonings in Wiltshire.  This entailed countless cancelled leave and rest days.

“And just last month we saw officers honoured at our national Bravery Awards, revealing truly humbling stories as they put their lives on the line. All they want is for their commitment to keeping the public safe to be fairly recognised.”

The survey findings will be used in our submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB, an independent group which advises the government on police pay) to help inform the pay award in 2019.
 

National Chair – John Apter

The new Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales says he is “honoured and humbled” to have been elected to the position.

John Apter, formerly the Chair of Hampshire Police Federation, reacted to this morning’s announcement saying: “I am incredibly proud to be a police officer but what makes it special is the people I work with. Police officers are ordinary people doing an extraordinary job. They are the bravest. They are the best.”

He continued: “Today I am honoured and humbled to be elected as their voice. It is an incredible privilege to be named Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales – the first ever to be elected by officers up and down the country.”

Mr Apter was selected ahead of Phill Matthews, PFEW’s Conduct and Performance lead, who had also challenged for the position.

Speaking after the election result Mr Apter set out his aims for his tenure saying: “For far too long police officers have been taken advantage of. Pay and conditions, ‘reform’ of the service, huge budget cuts, and outrageous slurs and media soundbites… The Government has been kicking us for years. There comes a point where we must bite back, that time has come.

And he vowed to take a tough stance when negotiating on behalf of his members saying: “Whilst we must have a relationship with the Home Office, chief officers and the College of Policing, I do not want to be their friend. I will hold them to account to make sure they act in my members best interests. That begins tomorrow when I start my role as National Chair.

“I have a long list of priorities. At the top of the list will always be pay and conditions. Following the contemptible and disgraceful actions of the Government this year over our pay award – and let’s be frank, over the past seven or eight years – we have some significant decisions to make. The disdain and contempt shown to police officers in England and Wales must end.”

He continued: “Officer safety is also key. I will be pushing Government to centrally fund Taser and I will also be putting my full support to getting better protection for police drivers. The legal vulnerability they face for doing what they are trained to do is unacceptable and must end.

“I also want to start the debate on Employment Rights for police officers. It’s important we have a grown up and balanced discussion about what this means – and is it something our members want?
“Other areas I want to focus on include Special Constables joining the Federation, the ongoing wellbeing of colleagues and reviewing the ‘free half hour for the Queen’. I will be making myself as visible as possible, both to members across England and Wales and to local Federations.

“I want to make sure the Police Federation of England and Wales gives local Federations whatever support they need to give the best service they can. Local Federations are the credibility of the organisation: they need more support and I will make sure they get it. I am also aware that the National Federation needs to bolster the confidence of our members. And I intend to be driving that from the centre with tangible actions and not just words.

“So, it will be a busy few months and years ahead. Every day is important, and I am determined to make a difference. We have been shouting about the consequence of cuts to policing for years and have been labelled scaremongers for doing so. We need to be more passionate, persuasive and proactive, and we must take our message to the public, who in the main support policing.

“We are dealing with a Government that has its head firmly buried in the sand when it comes to the impact of cuts to policing. Let’s make them sit up and listen. The hard work starts here. Working together we can achieve so much. For the public we serve, and the police officers we represent.

“Thank you again for having the faith in me to do the job for you,” Mr Apter concluded.