Policing in Crisis!
Yesterday the Police Federation of England & Wales announced its intention to ballot its 135,000 members on industrial rights. Currently it is illegal for police officers to take any form of industrial action. To do so would almost certainly result in criminal prosecution that can carry a prison sentence.
Ian Pointon, Chairman of Kent Police Federation says,
"The publication of Tom Winsor's second report removed the final trace of any unique protections for police officers. His recommendations, including redundancy, salary reductions for injured officers & the replacement of our statutory negotiating machinery with a 'government weighted' pay review body devoid of any arbitration, have signalled that police officers will have employee status as opposed to being Officers of the Crown. This change in status coupled with the inherent loss of independence will fundamentally change the basis of policing in the UK." He continues,
"Police officers are outraged at these latest proposals. If police officers are to be treated like any other worker then they should have the same rights as any other worker; that is only fair. This is not just about the right to strike but rather the ability to take industrial action such as an overtime ban. It's about the ability to organise without the fear of the criminal law."
"This government has deliberately steered themselves onto a collision course with police officers. Only they know their motivation for that. Police officers believe these attacks on their protections go far beyond 'everyone being in this together'! They justifiably believe they are being singled out." In conclusion,
"Police officers have traditionally prided themselves that no matter what happened in society they would always be there for the public. They are hugely saddened to be thinking of industrial rights, but they feel the government has left them no choice. They have reached the point where enough is enough. They would much rather be fighting crime than fighting for a fair deal. The solution to this lies firmly with the Home Secretary."
END OF MEDIA RELEASE
Notes to Editor
- PFEW represents 135,000 police officers, 3,600 of which are in Kent Police.
- PFEW is not a trade union - it is a staff association.
- PFEW represents constables, sergeants, inspectors & chief inspectors.
- Ian Pointon is Chairman of Kent Police Federation - 01622 652250