Tuesday, 17 August 2010

THE CASE AGAINST ACPO

Following on from our last article about the betrayal of the frontline police troops by ACPO, we discovered a site called "HMP Britain" who have also thrown their focus on the activities of the boys club association and its members.

The following article is extracted straight from their pages, so any credit or crticism for its content should go to the authors.

ACPO—the Association of Chief Police Officers—was recently reported as holding a £500k “champagne gala” whilst 28,000 Police Officers face redundancy. What follows is HMP Britain’s Case Against ACPO. Feel free to add your own.

ACPO is against Liberty

Labour, with ACPO lobbying, passed laws to advance Britain along the road to a police state. ANPR, DNA retention, and the introduction of Tasers are just some of the policies ACPO have helped craft.

ACPO is a self-serving Lobby Group

Many of Labour’s policing laws were effectively written by ACPO and designed to serve the interests of ACPO’s elite against the interests of the taxpayer. The Criminal Justice and Police Act (2001) is a prime example: under this legislation, ACPO staff—and remember ACPO is a private company—became entitled to expensive gold-plated civil service pension.

Their lobbying also extended to powergrabs: the Police and Justice Act (2006) mandates ACPO Ltd must be consulted prior to changes in certain police powers. It also requires a representative from ACPO to be on of the National Police Improvement Agency. (Article written before the announcement that the NIPA would be broken up). The codes regarding PACE may only be modified with ACPO consultation.

Police Reform Act (2002) granted ACPO extraordinary powers: it made ACPO the only private corporation whose employees can hold the office of police constable. Section 96 of the Police Reform Act (2002) grants the President of ACPO the powers of arrest and powers of a Chief Constable.

ACPO has more money than it can spend

ACPO has £15 million in cash at the bank and has an income of approximately £10 million per year. It has various commercial activities: it accredits burglar alarms, sells (and promotes) its own accreditation service for the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme and makes a profit each year in excess of £300,000 by holding an annual conference.

ACPO also has a sizeable property empire but refuses to say how large it is. It is known that a small subdivision of ACPO—the Terrorism & Allied Matters Committee—spends £1.3 million on luxury apartments for its members.

ACPO is highly political

Police officers are forbidden by law from joining a political party and diligently avoid accusations of political bias. The same cannot be said of Chief Police Officers and ACPO.

In an interview on Radio 4′s Today, the President of ACPO, Sir Hugh Orde, threatened to resign if Conservative Plans for elected Chief Constables became law.

In 2007, then-President of ACPO Ken Jones spoke out in support of the Government plans–opposed by the Conservatives–to increase precharge detention beyond 28 days.

This lead to the Conservatives writing in a private election note of ACPO giving “political cover to the Labour Government repeatedly and consistently” and engaging in “gratuitous photocalls” with Gordon Brown and other ministers. It goes on to say it “shows almost no criticism of the current Government”.

ACPO is a Secretive Private Company

ACPO president Sir Hugh Orde has acknowledged that its role as a private company was “uncomfortable” and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the police watchdog, has said its ‘status as a private limited company ‘cannot continue’.

Despite receiving much public funding, responsible for senior appointments in quangos and helping the state draft legislation, ACPO is immune to Freedom of Information laws and is not bound by the usual rules of the civil service, despite receiving many of its perks.

If ACPO were to be brought into the state and its civil service, a justifiable question would be what is the difference between the APA, NPIA (NPA?) and ACPO, and do we really need it?

AND TO THIS WE ADD OUR OWN . . . . . .

ACPO ARE SELF SERVING, DECEITFUL, SECRETIVE AND DISLOYAL TO THE ROOT AND BRANCH OFFICERS THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO LEAD WITH HONOUR

In our article this week We quoted yet another example of ACPO using the Home Office and the media to deflect attention away from their own nefarious conduct, by submitting a secret document to the Home Secretary suggesting, among forty-nine recommendations, that the pay and conditions of the federated ranks be dramatically slashed.

It is ACPO that conveniently didn’t tell the Police Federation that they had submitted the document, leaving no opportunity to consult with the rank and file representative body. It was ACPO that met with the Police Federation and the Superintendents’ Association, pleading for unity to resist the Government’s plans for elected commissioners to replace police authorities – after they had submitted their plans.

Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, (quite rightly in our view), said: "We are extremely disappointed that such an important paper has been leaked into the public domain, causing much anger and distress amongst police officers throughout England and Wales. While on first reading much in the paper is to be commended, there are many areas of very real concern which we strongly oppose and will seek to address on behalf of our members. While I do not believe this is the right way to do business, it is intrinsic that at a time of great uncertainty and constraint all policing bodies work together openly and transparently to ensure the future of policing in England and Wales is shaped by police officers, not individuals, for the benefit and safety of the public".

ACPO have shown by their arrogant disregard for the welfare and views of the policing frontline, that they are out to protect their own individual interests before anyone else, including the front line officers and the general public they are supposed to serve.

ACPO have apparently stated that they believed incentive bonuses to be devisive. (Despite the fact that many senior officers took them without complaint for 7 years anyway!). If anyone should know the definition of the word 'devisive" it is those ACPO officers who have participated in this scurrilous, deceitful, secretive act of outright betrayal. SHAME ON YOU.

As a group, ACPO have shown that they cannot be trusted to stand alone as the authoritive voice of British policing. Any organisation that fails to listen to the views of its root and branch staff, those who experience the real problems and use their initiative to overcome them, is destined to lose the confidence of their 'customer', in this case the British public. 

It is time that the grass roots officer was given a voice and the recognition the role and its experience deserves. In any future reforms, the Federation should take its place alongside ACPO (should it survive), in any negotiations and consultations with the Government and elected officials. The front line should not be placed lower down the priority list, it should be up there, with equal ranking to ACPO with an equal voice, presented in unison, as one body. The current state of affairs, where ACPO have all the power, authority and political interference must not be allowed to continue. They and their actions have been instrumental in the loss of confidence from their officers and the public. They must accept this point if the service is to move forward.  

Senior Officers and the rank and file must be reconciled as one service. It must not be acceptable that the Federation hear about important decisions from leaked documents or other sources. They must be a visible part of the process, not merely an afterthought This will take a monumental shift of culture from the Chief Officers, to accept  that this is an essential element in achieving reforms that will last. If they fail to do this, this Government will spend its administration umpiring the contrary view of ACPO and the frontline.

FOOTNOTE:-

Police Oracle post their account on the leaked document fiasco today 18/8/2010

http://www.policeoracle.com/news/Concerns-Voiced-Over-Leaked-ACPO-Document_25837.html

Concerns Voiced Over Leaked ACPO Document
17-Aug-10

Fed Chairman calls for explanation after members were not consulted about pay and conditions recommendations…...

The Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales is calling for a meeting with ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde amid controversy over a leaked association consultation paper.

In an interview with PoliceOracle.com, Paul McKeever said he wanted an explanation as to why the restricted document – details of which appeared in the press last week – were not made available to the Federation before being sent to the Home Office.

The ACPO paper – which was submitted before the release of the government’s Policing in the 21st Century consultation document –contains recommendations about how savings could be made, including changes to the current regime of overtime and a review of the rank structure.

Among the proposals are the reduction of overtime payments on public holidays from double time to time-and-a-half and the scrapping of the minimum four-hour payment paid on rest days, public holidays and recalls to duty.

The document also suggests that a raft of additional payments and performance related pay schemes could be scrapped to realise “immediate cash saving measures”.

While accepting that the vast majority of the document covers familiar themes, Mr McKeever said 12 of the recommendations are “hugely detrimental to members”.

The Chairman said: “There was absolutely no consultation with us at all over this, and it has caused a great deal of distress to rank-and-file officers.

“While on first reading much in the paper is to be commended, there are many areas of very real concern which we strongly oppose and will seek to address on behalf of our members.”

He added: “The way this matter has been handled is not the way to do business. You have to have some sort of consultation with all ranks and I will be speaking to Sir Hugh Orde and asking for a meeting with him next week.

“It is intrinsic that – at a time of great uncertainty – all policing bodies work together transparently to ensure the future of policing in England and Wales is shaped by police officers, not individuals, for the benefit and safety of the public.”

However ACPO Vice-President Tim Hollis said that the Association had been asked to put its views to the government ahead to the release of the Policing in the 21st Century Consultation paper last month. He stressed that the Association had “always held the Police Federation in high regard”.

He added: “In these challenging times it is particularly important that ACPO, the Federation and the Police Superintendents’ Association work together closely.

“ACPO acted swiftly to initial requests to inform the debate prior to the government’s formal consultation on policing. Since then the Home Office has published Policing in the 21st Century as a consultation document.”

Mr Hollis concluded: “ACPO is currently working on a formal response to this consultation and we will, of course, discuss our response with our policing partners.”

So, no apology to the Federation then, or to the rank and file members you have upset in the process and whose interests you ignored when you leaked this document?

No surprise there then.

1 comments:

Peter Reynolds said...

My God!

You have opened my eyes here. This makes concerns about freemasonry look trivial. I didn't realise that ACPO had itself written into statute. It's outrageous.

What we need is a good Sun-style headline that will expose this scandal to the masses. I'm working on it...

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