Category Archives: Local News

Local news and updates from the Chairman of Avon and Somerset Police Federation.

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 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.

Avon and Somerset Winner at National Federation Awards

A former Avon and Somerset detective based in North East Investigations, has won the overall Regional Recognition Award for making an outstanding contribution to detective policing at the Police Federation National Detective’s forum in Manchester on the 11th October 2018.

Former Detective Constable Chris Williams was nominated for her work in child protection as well as exemplary work with victims during her 37-year police career. She retired in August but plans to return to Avon and Somerset as a member of police staff, working as a major crime investigating officer.

Her achievement follows her success at the prestigious BAWP (British Association for Women in Policing) awards event held in Coventry in June. She finished runner-up in the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Performance and Inspirational Woman category.

The Police Federation Awards recognises the very best of detective policing throughout England and Wales and forms part of a two-day seminar for detective Representatives, organised by the National Detectives’ Forum. Chris was awarded the overall Regional Recognition Award from a shortlist of impressive regional winners drawn from throughout England and Wales. She was recognised for “her unrelenting passion and dedication to safeguard children from abuse. She has given vulnerable victims the confidence and courage to speak out.”

Det Supt Marie Wright of Avon and Somerset Investigations, said: “I am so thrilled that Chris has won this award. She is one of the most dedicated child protection detectives that I have known and her 37 years’ service is an indication of her commitment to protecting the most vulnerable people in our community.

“Chris is a true professional and has always put the victim first, ensuring that they have a voice. She works with them to achieve what they want at what is often the most terrible time of their life.

“Chris remained as enthusiastic and motivated as she was when she joined the police. She has mentored and developed a number of colleagues over the years and has a great working relationship with our key partners.

“She has been a credit to my team and Avon and Somerset Police and winning this prestige national award from the Police Federation is duly deserved. If I was a victim of crime I would want Chris to work with me in her unique way – sensitive, caring and professional. That’s Chris!”

Andy Roebuck, Federation Council Chair, said: “This is a great honour for Chris and for Avon and Somerset Police. Her dedicated and professional work spanning 37 years is a real credit to her and demonstrates the inspirational role she has with her colleagues.

“Chris has moved through so many changes in detective career and her ability to adapt, remain enthusiastic and focused on the victim is a real credit to her as a detective. This is well-deserved and something that Chris and her family should be extremely proud of.”

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.”