Author Archives: Paul Budd

Know Your Rights

As part of the national Chair’s commitment to supporting members, a new national campaign is being launched to raise awareness of the entitlements officers can claim as part of their role.

Did You Know? will go live on Wednesday 21 November and will focus on a key theme every month based on what you, our members, want to know. The idea for the campaign originated from the national chair’s election campaign and has been developed further following input from the wider national council.

Please note the link www.polfed.org/didyouknow will not work until 21 November but in the meantime you can use the Frequently Asked Questions on our website to assist you with your questions or please make contact with the office on 01278 647085.

The first monthly focus is going to be on annual leave.

As a Police Officer you governed by Police Regulations which are rights and entitlements enshrined in law, it is important that you understand them and insist on them.

Potholes More Important Than Policing

The contempt the Government has for police officers is clear as the Chancellor prioritises pot holes over police officers.

There was no new money announced for frontline policing with the only reference to the service being a £160m investment to maintain specialist counter terrorism provision – less than half of the £420m the Government has allocated to deal with pot holes.

Mr Apter said: “This is just another example of the contempt in which the Government holds police officers. What does it say when a Government prioritises pot holes over policing?

“This budget was the perfect opportunity to address the overwhelming issues facing the police service in England and Wales – but hard-working officers on the street have been ignored once again.

“We welcome the investment in counter terrorism capability but given the threat level this country is facing it is a necessity dressed up as a gift. And the very minimum which is required with more than 700 live counter terrorism investigations.

“What about my colleagues who work on neighbourhood policing teams, the response officers who answer the public’s 999 calls and the CID investigators securing convictions of those who terrorise our societies. There was nothing for them.

“I am angry and disappointed, but I can’t say I am shocked. This level of disdain is what has come to symbolise this Government,” he said.

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered this third budget which will be the last one before the UK exits the European Union in March next year.

The key announcements included:

  • Confirmation of an extra £20.5bn for the NHS over the next five years
  • £2bn-a-year investment into mental health services part of which will be used to fund a fleet of dedicated mental health ambulances
  • An extra £1bn for armed forces, for cyber-capabilities and the UK’s new nuclear submarine programme
  • £900m in business rates relief for small businesses and £650m to rejuvenate high streets
  • Extra £500m for preparations for leaving the EU

Mr Apter continued: “All public services have felt the effects of austerity and the proposed investment in mental health services will go some way to easing the pressure on frontline police officers by proxy.

“But the chancellor has failed to directly address the multitude of problems facing the police service which could be immediately eased by proper and prompt investment.”

Last week the Home Affairs Select Committee published a damning report into the state of policing which was highly critical of the Home Office and its management of the police service.

Mr Apter said: “I was hopeful that the HASC report would have served as a wake-up call for the Prime Minster and her cabinet and be the catalyst which would galvanise them into action – but no.

“In her keynote speech at her party conference Theresa May announced that the end of austerity had come a claim repeated by Mr Hammond today.

“Well it certainly doesn’t look that way to me or my members some of whom are having to rely on charity to make ends meet, others who are suffering mental ill heath caused by the stress of the massive workloads they are carrying, or who are put at risk every day because the numbers on their teams have been decimated.

“What the police service needed was a lifeline and we needed it today. The Government are jeopardising the safety of the public who they have a duty to protect and I am appalled by their attitude,” Mr Apter concluded.

The Chancellor said that the Home Secretary will make an announcement on the Police Funding Settlement for the next financial year in December.

The Prime Minster, the Home Secretary and the Policing Minister have all previously suggested that the issue of police spending will be addressed in the Comprehensive Spending Review which is expected to take place in spring next year.

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.