Sunday, 31 October 2010
The independent review of pay and conditions of service for police officers and staff began on 1 October 2010 with the opportunity for officers and staff to voice their views and concerns up until 29th October 2010.
Following our recent article discussing the Police Pay and Conditions Review the deadline for comments has now passed. We have collected all the comments which will be available on these pages shortly. A massive 7,102 comments were received in response to the seven questions asked on the Home Office site http://review.police.uk/index.php
The Home Secretary, Theresa May appointed Tom Winsor to lead the current review of police pay & conditions. Tom Winsor, 52, was the Rail Regulator between 1999 and 2004, which included the period of dismantling Railtrack and the creation of Network Rail. In his period in office he carried out two major reviews of the national railway infrastructure (October 2000 and December 2003), and helped reform the industry.
Tom Winsor said: 'I am very pleased to accept the Home Secretary’s invitation to lead this review. I look forward to working alongside police officers and their representatives, and others, as they strive to ready the police service for the challenges ahead.
'I have always had immense respect for police officers and staff, and the vital work they do. Every day those on the frontline can face difficult and dangerous situations. Throughout this review, I shall be guided by the overriding principle of fairness – fairness to individual police officers and staff, and fairness to the taxpayer.
In a Federation press release, Paul McKeever, Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, says:
“The terms of reference for the review of remuneration and conditions of service for police officers and staff published by the government today appear to take cognisance of the unique status of police officers and the restrictions on our private and working lives. We appreciate the fiscal situation the country faces but trust the review will take account of the difficult challenges police officers face and the extreme dangers inherent in the job. Tom Winsor says in his press statement, this is about fairness; to that end we look forward to him taking account of our views to ensure that police officers’ terms and conditions fairly reflect these dangers and restrictions and allow us to continue to provide the best possible service to the public.”
Tom Winsor has a wide remit to consider all aspects of police pay and conditions. It will include scrutiny of allowances, overtime and the cost of officers working in other force areas.
The review will cover both police officers and civilian staff, including Police Community Support Officers. Its recommendations will be costed and be in great enough detail to be introduced quickly into the service.
Having read all of the comments, here is a flavour of the responses received from officers all over the country. We have removed names to preserve anonimity of the authors.
Question 1: In the current financial environment, how would you change overtime rates? (1452 comments)
“There has to be some remuneration for the overtime worked. I have performed nearly 25 years which have all been on full shift cover. The shifts are long and when officers are dealing with incidents and prisoners they cannot walk away from work. Also rest days are cancelled to work football and PSU, this doesn't happen to the officers on the same wage working 9-5 Monday-Friday. We already have the first half hour taken off us for the love of doing the job”.
“I am a uniform Sgt working on a Neighbourhood. I work at least 6 - 10 hours every week that I do not get paid for, because there is 'no overtime'. This job is not like other jobs. I missed a lot of my children’s growing up because I have always been committed to this job and have work long hours on operations before promotion. I would not change overtime rates”.
“I am a police officer, but also a family man. If you want me to work extra days, you are taking them away from my family / friends, and you can pay me for it. I am not a slave to the job, I work to live, not live to work. I am immensely proud of the work I do, and regularly work extra hours without pay, to ensure the job is done. The powers that be have no idea how much "good will" they get from us. There are not enough officers to do the work required, therefore, if you take away the overtime rates, that work will not be done. If you won't pay us sufficiently for it, we won't do it, simple as. It wouldn't happen in the private sector, so why treat us differently?”
“I have to agree with the majority of comments that at present the overtime rates should remain in place so staff cannot be abused by management and retained on duty for unnecessary tasks that could be completed by the next shift. I also agree that the 4 hours double time after nights should be removed as it has been abused far too often, payment should be for the hours worked only. Do not let money get in the way of officers doing there job professionally and effectively by completely removing any remaining moral!”
“Maybe if each Chief Constable that joined a force didn’t change the shift pattern to further their own career then overtime would not be such an issue. If officers are working shorter shifts with less 'change over' time then overtime is inevitably going to be incurred. If there were more officers to answer calls and deal with incidents then again, less overtime would be incurred. Instead of officers being passed out to various 'here today gone tomorrow' departments then, yet again, there would be more officers to deal with things and less overtime incurred. SMT do not preplan for so-called critical dates and as such officers end up working long hours when these could have been avoided. We are salaried workers and if we work overtime we should be paid accordingly. The first half hour isn’t paid anyway! This whole debate boils down to officers not being valued for the hard work that they do and if these issues had been raised in any other field then the employees would inevitably be taking strike action”.
“It’s difficult to know where to start. I am a police Inspector 28 years service. My average hours are 60-80 hours per week. I am required to change duties at the drop of a hat by Senior Management. I as officers know do not get overtime. My point is if you attack the overtime and conditions of PS,s and Constables They, I hope will not stand for it. I chose to be an Inspector. However i did not choose to be abused by the SMT. I am not the only Inspector doing these hours. A recent federation survey showed that 80 percent of Insp regularly worked these hours. I suggest that when the findings of this enquiry are made public all officers should Lobby the federation for action.I fear they will buy out officers overtime.Please do not accept this. You will be abused as Inspectors are by the SMT”.
This question received more responses than any of the other 6, reflecting the strength of feeling about the topic. The most repeated responses said:
• Overtime is often a result of poor management from Senior Management, particularly for events that are known weeks or months on advance, where redeployment would have been an alternative.
• A degree of overtime is wasted. For example, officer start times for football matches and similar events, where duty starts many hours before the event itself and resources are kept waiting around.
• Officers feel that the present overtime rate is fair recompense for the extra hours worked and this cannot be substituted to TIOL (Time Off In Lieu) without seriously weakening resilience.
• An overwhelming number of officers stated that they would rather not have to work overtime if this were avoidable, but could not see how it could be avoided without major additional resource or system changes.
• A common thread referred to the need to release more of the office based 9-5 personnel back to the environments where overtime is being incurred.
• Comments suggested that there does need to be a thorough review of the departments and officers incurring overtime, to establish whether the extra spend represents good value for money and where it might be being abused, thereby.
• Civilian overtime came into question, as the police staff increases were seen as a measure to reduce overtime, where in fact they have added to it (£62 million in 2009).
• Frontline resourcing is so thin (as reflected by the HMIC report that visible presence is as low as 11%) that officers are left with little choice on an almost daily basis but to incur overtime. Insufficient staff on the following shift to take the handover prisoner(s) and custody interview teams that don’t work past 4pm. Officers frequently start early to square their paperwork and e mails before the start of the shift and often don’t claim for it (Either in Lieu or payment). Senior managers are out of touch with the huge amount of goodwill and time given but never claimed.
• Overtime buyout for Sergeants and Constables is a no brainer because the ranks will get abused. £3,000(At a guess) might sound attractive to those nearing retirement for a nice pension top up and those in non-operational roles, but the rest of us will have their shifts pushed from pillar to post to cover the inadequate resourcing. The present rates are seen as fair as they are, but forces need to assess and address how, why and where overtime is incurred in their areas.
Question 2: Should good performance by officers, staff or teams, be recognised in pay or allowances? And if so, how? Do you think Competency Related Threshold Payments, Superintendents' bonuses or ACPO bonuses currently achieve this?
“Why should a Ch Supt get a bonus for their STAFF's performance? Bonuses should work both ways or not at all. They get paid enough without getting extra for OUR hard work. All staff should be rewarded for doing anything 'over and above' and most would prefer time off rather than a few pounds more. I'm particularly thinking about these joke letters management send because you come into work every day for 20 years (or whatever) without a day off sick. Give me an extra day off each year not some hollow platitude letter”.
“High ranking officers only achieve their fat cat bonus payments because of the hard work and effort made by PCS/SGTS/INSPS so why on should they get paid massive bonus payments for bullying and making threats to perform to junior officers.... Scrap bonus payments for senior Management post holders as half of them haven't a clue how to police anymore and are far removed from policing. More interested in keeping to budgets, hitting targets and generally agreeing with whatever the government of the day deems popular. Neighbourhood policing seems to have been embraced with open arms by senior grovelling offcers jumping to the whim of the labour government!! Have some backbone ACPO and make a stand rather than just nodding your heads like good little puppets”
“SPP and CTRP are legitimate allowances, introduced by Government. The bonuses attributed to Superintendents and ACPO do not in my opinion have any legitimacy given the level of pay for those in those ranks. They should not be part of Police pay and conditions. SPP is divisive and should be scrapped. CTRP's are merely another point of the pay scale and should be retained, especially as it is part of pensionable pay. Performance related pay should have no part in Police pay”.
“CRTP and SPP do not work, if you are paid a good salary you are expected to perform. The bonus culture has destroyed policing with people being made to focus on certain areas in order to reach targets. Bonuses should be scrapped for senior officers, pay them well and they should do the job expected of them. If they can't do it then they don't progress and should be removed from post and reduced in rank. I would consider a system where certain roles attract an additional allowance, similar to the system employed in the armed forces. If a job is highly skilled then the officer should get more pay, the same with shift work. Without starting a fight there are some jobs far harder to recruit and more stressful than other, why should the pay be equal?”
“Do away firstly with ACPO bonuses; the 10% of salary we hear about is (mostly) collected by those at the top of the food chain. This brings about a certain sinister treatment of staff, to reach targets; targets which conflict with each other. So depending who you are reviewed by, depends on what you get kicked about. Do away with SPP & CRTP. Do away with all bonuses. It isn't right having these for a police service. BUT fair remuneration for those at the 'sharp end' 24/7. They DO deserve a new bonus. The Monday - Friday 8-4 brigade should lose out. They have it all too easy...”
“Performance related pay encourages target chasing and not good policing, witness how bonuses for senior ranks has brought about the disaffection of middle England in it's relentless drive for detections. 24/7 staff should be compensated for shift working, those who choose the comfort of an office job with weekends off should not be paid the same”.
“Ctrp should be given to those who demonstrate they are competent in their role. Senior officers bonus payments should be scrapped as they target their resources to deliver on these payments rather than police the community effectively.”
“CRTP's should stay for those who actually are competent. Chief police officers shouldn't be paid their bonuses for meeting their key performance indicators, which we all know are statistics for the press/politicians (who love them) but in actual fact bare no resemblance to real life or policing in general”.
“No. You can't measure good performance in simple terms when you are applying it to a police officer. I have had PDR's with ridiculous performance targets set, just to fill the box. That is where we are going wrong. Targets and performance indicators were the worst thing that happened to the police service. We've lost sight of what we should be doing and instead chase meaningless statistics to appease some bean counter at Home Office. Good managers know who works hard and who doesn't. Instead of rewarding the good, deal with the bad and that applies to Superintendents and ACPO as well”.
“The current SPP payments is a very divisive arrangement with 'worthy' depts/positions being decided at ACPO level. If these are scrutinised then they will be seen to be unjust. Individual bonus' will simply add to this and will alienate too many good, conscientious hard working officers who won’t fall within the right criteria or role. Supt and ACPO are paid a very good salary isn’t that salary there to reflect what is expected from them in their role? Most of them achieve their bonus' by putting the squeeze on lower ranks from whose performance they can then achieve their targets to get their bonus. Is this Justifiable? If they need the incentive of a bonus to achieve then perhaps the wrong officers are being selected to occupy these ranks. The bonus system in private industry just makes the rich even richer!”
“This is quite simple.... Does any police officer require a bonus for doing THEIR duty?Especially a Superintendent or Chief Officer!!! Bad performance should be rewarded appropriately!”
The responses to this question reflected a wave of acrimonious feeling about Chief and Senior officer bonus arrangements. Many of those in receipt of payments remained of the opinion that they were divisive although naturally enough, many would not wish to see payments scrapped out of hand.
Question 3: What pay and conditions incentives would encourage police officers and staff to work on the front line (for example, in response and neighbourhood policing teams)?
“You find in the Police that many officers as soon as they get out of their probationary period do everything they can to get off response. Hence why you will rarely find someone with ten years + experience on the front line. This is wrong, utterly wrong. They do this as some of the areas, suchg as neighbourhood policing are seen as the lesser of two evils. CID are VERY busy at certain time but most of the time are not run ragged as many response officers (and in my experience some of the most junior officers in the Force) are. If 24(7) response officers received a night/weekend allowance (as nurses do) you will soon find many of those who seek an easier life would look to stay in the front line”.
“It is absolutely right that frontline 24/7 police officers should be seen to be the backbone of the service, i say this with the caveat that i am a counter terrorism officer and have been for a number of years. If i work long hours, which i do, i incur overtime(although i have no doubt that will change)- if i work away from home for sustained periods of time, i incur overtime and some other expenses (see above re changes!) however, will i end up rolling around on the floor with a violent drunk - no, will i have to attend a nasty domestic or call of an armed robbery in progress, probably not unless i come across it, but that is the nature of the job i decided to do, without fear or favour but i also choose to do the job i am doing. Specialist roles are needed, there is no doubt about that, but the recognition of the hard work and sacrifice and dedication that frontline uniform staff put in every single day needs to be emphasized”.
“Work front line-get paid accordingly. Sit behind a desk get paid accordingly. I am sick to death of putting myself at risk on a daily basis, working in the dark and watching office staff leave work as I’m just getting there with some getting more in their back pockets than me. Pay front line cops a decent shift allowance and watch how many come back onto the streets”.
“Lets run the Police similar to a business and pay a decent shift allowance to create a differential to that of officers working Monday-Friday 9am - 5pm. Also give it to probationers who have completed 12 months service, unlike SPP. The only way to retain the correct personnel on the front line is to recognise their worth. How many officers move away from the front line when they have completed 2 years. We need to get the ratio right of front line staff and the staff in the squads we have. If you have more on the front line this will allow officers to complete the jobs with confidence, and time. Unfortunately the front line is always under pressure to meet targets I do not see that of the 'squads'. I include CID officers working shifts in the front line”.
“Front line policing is the backbone of the police service. It is what the public see and should be treated as the most important part of the service. The public don't see senior officers, they see young in service PCs who have the minimum of training and experience. These officers do their best, but they need the support and guidance of those who have been in for a while. The only way to do this is to pay response officers an additional allowance for the unsocial hours and conditions they have to put up with. Neighbourhood policing teams are staffed with people who choose to be there - why should they get an additional reward? Response teams are the crux of the job and all efforts should be made to keep as many people on those teams for as long as possible”.
"As someone who works 9-5 (training), I wholeheartedly agree that shift work should receive an appropriate allowance. Those of us who are not at the frontline should not be on the same level of pay as those working nights and the like. Posts with a requirement of shift work should have the allowance built in. For those of us on 9-5, we could get it on a pro rata basis if we had to do shift work say for a few days to cover something. The thing is, those in response need to be recognised for what they do, not have their OT rates slashed and their conditions diluted. Much of the difficulty in modern Policing is in my view created by the time spent on paperwork, regulation and the like. Why should an arrest take a crew off the street for the rest of a shift! Use the support staff for the background stuff”.
This question produced a popular thread that frontline and response officers are the backbone of the service, most likely to be dealing with the difficult and or dangerous situations and members of the public. An overwhelming message came through that shift allowances should be paid to these valuable officers, thereby recognizing the extra risk and attracting more officers from less risky roles for the rewards on offer. However, the differential would need to be sufficient to both reward existing officers and attract others back to the coal face.
Question 4: Do you think Special Priority Payments recognise those working in less popular roles, or those which require specialist skills? If not how would you achieve this?
“SPP is disliked by many. However, those that dislike it tend to be those that do not get it. i.e officers who work office hours in support roles. It is important to differentiate between frontline and other. Officers working on computers who use the phone to deal with the public are not frontline. They don’t place themselves in situations of risk or respond to calls of service. Those officers who do, should get the special priority payment. The job has changed massively in the last 15 years alone. It is imperative to have an incentive for officers to remain on the frontline. Promotional opportunities are now few and far between as are opportunities to further specialise. Therefore to maintain standards and enthusiasm an effective supervisory review should be conducted and a financial reward for those officers who work over the trenches”.
“Scrap SPP and give front line 24/7 officers a fair shift allowance, shift work is very demanding and should be recognised as such, if this was applied at an encouraging rate then experienced police officers would want to stay on front line duties and this would benefit the public”.
“If those on the frontline are to be rewarded for staying there, then it should be with a payment open to EVERYONE, not just to those with more than three or four years service. The reason response policing is unpopular has nothing to do with money, but more to do with the appalling way in which response officers are treated by the rest of the criminal justice system. They are burdened with more and more bureaucratic processes, despite many promises to do away with unnecessary paperwork. If this government were to ensure that the courts severely punished anyone who assaults a police officer and were to keep the promise to significantly reduce the paperwork burden then the role wouldn't be so unpopular”.
“I think SPP should remain, despite the fact I don't get it. The list who get it should be revised. I think that Patrol/Response should be the only department who get it, if it stays at all. Patrol officers are 'front line' and normally the first person a member of the public sees. We need to reward those with great experience on patrol and who stay providing a good service to the public. Other departments whereby people apply to join should not be given SPP. It is their choice to leave response so should not be entitled to it. By selecting certain ranks and departments to receive SPP causes upset. In short it should be stopped completely or remain just for patrol”.
“A divisive system set up by a divisive Government. There is no less popular role than working the front line. That’s where the bonuses should be...catch baddies - detect crime. Not get financial rewards for good ideas and producing money saving computer programs .. to name but a few”.
“SPP's are divisive and should go, officers in the specialist roles should want to do it for their own development or job satisfaction not the money. I have been in the police service for 30 yrs and been fortunate to go into several specialist roles over that time but it was for the challenge or job satisfaction not money. I am now back as an operational sgt and the shift officers that are first to the RTC's, or fights or sudden deaths deserve the recognition and any reward”.
“SPP - get rid of them. They are an unfair payment to a selected few to the annoyance of officers who don’t get them. Frontline officers 24/7 are the ones who deserve these payments.( I am not one of them )”
This question echoed the previous thread that response officers are the backbone of the service and as such are the only departments where SPP is considered appropriate. This view was echoed over and over again by officers who are not in response or frontline positions, reflecting the respect and esteem these officers are held by their colleagues (if not their Chief Officers).
Question 5: How would you treat officers on restricted duties? Should ill health retirement be changed, and if so how?
“I genuinely am angry at the amount of officers who are on restricted duties due to bad back etc, when we all know a fair amount of these officers are over weight, lazy and scared of being on the street. If they are genuine, or have been injured on duty then we should look after them, if they are scared of their own shadow and are swinging the lead I think they should be retired on ill health. Likewise the obese and unfit who could not run for a bus let a lone a burglar. Why should someone who works in an office 9 - 5, has their weekends off, no rest days cancelled for mischief night, NYE, Christmas etc get paid the same amount of money as me?”
“Assess them fairly, accurately, regularly and realistically with milestones of progression - too often its a long term measure with unreasonable and unecessary restriction of duties. We have to face up to someone not being fit to serve but current rules for medical retirement are punitive for forces. They therefore occupy back room roles permanently. But don't disadvantage those seriously injured in the line of duty such as David Rathband”.
“If an officer has a genuine injury, especially one caused on duty, then they should be treated fairly and sympathetically. However, the bad back brigade (and everybody knows who they are) should be told that it is in their best interests to get their backs "fixed", as its not in the interest of the force or the taxpaying public to have a cop sitting at a desk for 20 out of their 30 years service”.
“Clearly an emotive area. The only answer is for effective medical examination with strong supportive management. We all know people who dodge work at all costs and most could be dealt with in this manner. That would leave the genuinely needy who want to be front line but who are unable to perform those duties through no fault of their own. Their skills should then be utilised as effectively as possible so that they add value and feel valued. Maintaining shift patterns and completing as much of a normal role as possible would reward the genuinely sick and would deter the malingerers (who would have little to gain). I believe, as with most of the other regulations, that the current standards are fine. It is the interpretation and implementation that lets the organisation down”.
This question brought forth a unanimous thread that medical examination and professional management of the problem are the requirements to differentiating between the genuinely deserving, who should be adequately protected and those who are abusing the system, who should be managed back to work or out of the job.
Question 6: What factors should influence whether you move up pay scales? For example, time served, performance, skills, or other.
“Experience counts in this job, progression by time served recognises this but those on restricted duties or who under perform should be able to be held back on the same level until such time they can demonstrate this experience in an operational context”.
“There should be annual increments for length of service but believe those with a skill should be rewarded ie firearms/marine/dog handler/ accident investigator etc. If someone has spent time becoming an expert in their field they should be rewarded what is needed is a skills allowance. Officers on shifts should get the appropriate remuneration ie 12.5% for earlies/lates and 20% if perform nights similar to police staff , why should a 9-5er who gets every weekend off get the same as someone performing shifts? Oh and I'm a 9-5er by the way :-)”
“Keep as is - e.g. length of service, but linked to annual appraisal - you only move up if you are assessed as satisfactory for that year. Keep CRT as promotion opportunities are becoming more limited. This also helps to keep up the performance of longer serving officers”.
“A combination of time served and ability should be considered. There are too many who milk the system and do as little as they can possibly do, yet still get paid the same money as someone who gives their all and works tirelessly. Supervisors should have to justify each officers competency to move up the scale each year. We really need to get rid of dead wood instead of giving them pay rises”.
Time served, proven competence and experience were the most common words appearing in the responses to this question. Knowledge, experience, skills and attitude, measured by appraisal are the best yardstick for deciding whether upward moves are appropriate. Performance is a difficult area, as clearly officers believe that practical application of performance should be rewarded moreso than academic or administrative performance.
Question 7: Are there any other aspects of police officer and staff pay or conditions that should be changed in order to make them more fair to taxpayers, while also recognising the need to be fair to officers and staff?
“Recognise that we work together. Put us on the same conditions. But recognise that if the role of the office of constable goes then in comes industrial rights like every other 'employee'. I think that this review comes at a really apt time. I say that because if our police support colleagues go on strike or there is unrest in the wider community who is it that the Govt will turn to? The police. And why is that? Because we don't strike and for that privilege society has to pay us a good wage. It's called equity. Stop job creation and make every new role be scrutinised for value for money. Stop taking on people doing back office work to feed the ever burgeoning performance culture. Put money into policing not bean counting. Stop putting money into inherently 'social engineering' type projects. Rely on experience more and statistics less. Managers get paid to manage not read bar charts”.
“I am a DS on probably the busiest borough in London. A typical week includes surveillance operations, firearms, theft, drug warrants long days, late nights not much sleep, abuse from the public / baddies .This managing serious risk from gun, knife carrying thugs in gangs that society are scared of and have given up on "we wear armour for a reason". Poor working conditions old equipment. In my group of peers outside of the Police I am the lowest earner and that’s with the OT !!.But I love it !I joined for the right reasons to do the right thing and fight crime. But don’t think that you can mess with my pension and salary i earn a just about liveable wage enough to support my family without frills and I take the abuse and long hours knowing that in 30 years its over I’ve done my bit and I'm out. Get rid of PCSO's they are a waste of money. Leave the crime managers alone to fight crime without figures games. That is being fair to the public by creating a safer environment for them to live and work in " That is value for money and the public know it, their smarter than the politicians think !!!!”
“Less chief officers. Remove the Superintendent ranks. Let Chief inspectors run Divisions and Sergeants stop being 'one of the boys' bring back discipline and pride in the uniform. Make officers march to their beats and carry their sandwiches to eat on their beat. Take away all police vehicles from senior officers and make them walk or catch a bus. Bring back the noddy bikes for beat officers. Close all police stations bar the divisional one and have caravan police stations which can be moved into town centres”.
“Far too many highly paid civillians employed by police authorities. Job creation by the last government. This includes P.C.S.O.s Blunketts Bobbies. A total unnecessary and expensive uniform carrier. Highways Agency patrols Chocolate fireguards totally unnecessary a lot of which are retired police officers on good pensions. Amalgamate smaller forces into one thus saving on Chief Constables. Deputies and Assistants plus Police Authorities. What a saving.”
“I am a police officer, I earn the lowest wage out of my social group of friends, and they all have office /production jobs - our pay isn’t reflective of what we do! We take more risks, deal with horrendous jobs, see things that the rest of the public would never see in a lifetime and everyone tells us 'I pay your wages' - yeah thanks for that! A friend who is a PSCO takes home not much less than me and is quite frankly, in his role, a waste of taxpayers money. He wouldn’t know a hard days work if it knocked him over! Get rid of PCSO's and use their wage bill to support the hard working police officers and tax payers”.
“Take a good hard look at policing as a whole. How many warranted officers are in posts that do not require warranted powers? It is about time that policing joined the 21st century and became a career streamed organisation with acceptance of prior skills, recognition of experience and dedication to a role and the ability to vary the scale of pay to suite the career stream you wish to pursue. 24/7 response officers in harms way get the warrant card and the better salary, investigators specified powers and less salary, administrators and back office staff paid according to private industry equivalents etc. That way folks can choose their path and each role gets it's proper recognition!”
“1. Pensions: We pay 11% and the public should be told this. It is not free.
2. PCSOs: On the whole they do try to do a good job - waste of money.
3. CRTP: This should stay as it is a good incentive but I think it should be assessed every year.
4. SPP:Scrap this. Pay those that work 24/7 an allowance.
5. Support Networks: Police forces are way ahead of the private sector in diversity. I think staff associations (GPA/CPA etc) should be scrapped.
6: Discipline. We need to return to a disciplined organisation.
7. Investigative Mindset: Forces get criticised for not having an investigative mindset. Proper investigation takes time.
8. Neighbourhood Policing: Scrap it. Have big shifts and put the older bobbies as permanent beat officers.
9. Prior Learning Certificates: There is a move to get the police pre-trained in law before joining with the students having to pay for the privilege of obtaining this certificate with no guarantee of a job. Why don’t the police services do this training and use the procedure as an income generation device.
I hope this helps”.
“Get back to a sensible system where the pink and fluffy brigade of back room staff are reminded they are there to support the warranted Police officers, and let the dog wag it's tail, not be wagged by it! Ensure that the cuts are severed at the heart of inefficiency, bureaucracy and ineffective management. Review the whole rank structure and remove the places where senior officers hide in HQ's carrying portfolio's of nothingness. The streets of the UK need confident well resourced Police with an efficient support, technology and data streaming, to enable them to do their jobs. Remove the inefficiency and create a national Police force and reduce the number of Chief's to about 7 regional Commanders. Go on I dare you!!”
“Police forces nationally are top heavy with senior officers and most have seen their civilian work force double in the last 15 years before talking a hatchet to police pay and conditions consider where the value for money lies the over worked and under resourced front line police officer or the army of civilians engaged performance monitoring, statistic manipulating or target chasing”.
“Change the whole service... Amalgamate all the forces over time into regions. Each BCU could have its own identity and be run by a Chief Supt. Each region could be staffed by 1 Chief Con and 5 ACCs. Thus you would end up with let us say Leeds Police in the North East Region, Harrogate Police in the North East Region - and a massive saving on senior officer wages. Only one diversity unit for the country producing NCalt packages - massive saving. Only one policy and procedure for everything across the country - humungous savings”.
“Policing is a vocation, anyone who does this job without feeling a sense of pride and service is in the wrong job. While it is a vocation, that does not mean that our leaders can assume that we will do anything and everything for nothing. Over the years of my service, allowances have been whittled away, we have been made to work 30 minutes for nothing (I've yet to find any company in the private sector that could get away with that) and we still have no right to withdraw our labour. Any review of police pay and conditions should also review the powers and rights of the Police Federation to make sure that those who represent us have some clout. At the moment, if we are divided, then we fall. All police officers must stick together and campaign for a fair and reasonable remuneration package that recognises the unique situation we are in”.
“If the status of ACPO is undefined or unclear to a Shadow Home Secretary, then why did the Labour Goverment at the time allow ACPO to embed themselves into the Official Side of the PNB where our pay and conditions are negotiated ? ACPO is a private limited company formed by officers/staff of Chief Officer rank, yet Chief Officers still have their own staff association, the CPOSA, which sits on the Staff Side of the PNB. This situation is unhealthy. Is ACPO going to advise the Home Office to reduce the bonuses and perks of its own members? Er, I don't think so. Is ACPO going to advise the Home Office to amalgamate forces to save costs and reduce the number of Chief Officers? Er, I don't think so. ACPO should be removed from the PNB all staff associations should be governed and restricted by legislation, in the same way as the Police Federation”.
“In "A New Force", the document produced by the Think Tank 'Reform' in 2009, MP Chris Grayling, the then Shadow Home Secretary, is quoted as commenting: "It is strange that [the Bill - now the Policing and Crime act 2009] gives ACPO a statutory position in advising on appointments when the status of ACPO itself remains undefined. Is it an external reference group for Home Office Ministers, or a professional association protecting senior officers' interests? Is it a national policing agency, or is it a pressure group arguing for greater police powers?" 'Reform' suggests ACPO is a self perpetuating oligarchy and questions their role. Taxpayers should also question the role and activities of ACPO and why politicians appear to be letting ACPO embed itself into all levels”.
“The more comments I read about 'ACPO' and the more research I do into their activities the more concerned I become. What used to be the name by which Chief Officer ranks were known by and represented by has now become the name of a private limited company, registered with Company House, which promotes itself as the voice of the service. Yet at the same time these same Chief Officers want to sit on the Staff Side of the PNB and be involved in discussions with the Federated and Superintendent rank representative bodies. So Chief Officers invent another name for themselves, the CPOSA, to represent them on the Staff Side! This is scandalous and only an incompetent Labour Home Secretary could have allowed this to happen. Please Ms May, look objectively at the status of 'ACPO' and ask yourself whether they have grown too big for their boots!”
“Despite the Pro PCSO propaganda machine working overtime, I know that the public are not fooled by PCSO's any more. They dont want to be paying taxes for people in uniform who cant arrest criminals when they see crime taking place before their eyes. £25K+ every year for each one of them. For every 2 PCSOs we could have a new PC with all the powers needed to tackle criminals head on and have money to spare. Please think about it...it is common sense. Theres a drive on Specials recruitment. Specials come out on busy periods of public order. They have more training than PCSO's and have powers of arrest. We could consider losing all the PCSO's and start paying Specials Part time. Plus if they join full time, they will have had some of the training required already for free!”
“I am a long service regular Police Officer and never been a Special but it would be fair to the service and taxpayers and save millions of pounds by disbanding PCSOs. The replacement for them would be paid Specials, the more training and experiences Specials have the more money they get paid. This will be better than paying PCSOs £25,000 per year and costs of training, equipping them and other costs for this poor asset that without fail is looked at by criminals and public as a joke. Specials can do the job of the PCSOs and do it better, plus if Specials are paid they can give more time to the service and public. More importantly they can use the POLICE POWERS that PCSOs don't have. This works in other countries including Northern Ireland and there is no reason it can't work here”.
“With regard how officer and staff pay and conditions of service are decided (including the structures of the Police Negotiating Board and the police staff council): How can Chief Officers be represented on the Staff Side by the Chief Police Officers Staff Association and at the same time sit on the Official Side as members of their private limited company 'ACPO' acting in an advisory capacity? There is surely a conflict of interest or a vested interest? Surely the CPOSA should be the only body that represents Chief Officers interests, and surely ACPO should have no influence over pay and conditions, even in an advisory capacity. Why do only the federated ranks have a statutory representative body? Why not introduce statutory bodies for the higher ranks too with Regulations governing their activities? Alternatively maybe federated officers should set up an Association of Federated Rank Officers as a private limited company, a subgroup of the Federation and in competition to ACPO. This Association could no way be seen as a Trade Union. We could even seek charitable status."
This question sparked a lot on controversial yet valid views, many of which echo those we have reported from these pages previously. A considerable undercurrent divide exists between the rank and file officers and the ACPO/SMT ranks. There is clearly a strongly held belief that the PCSO experiment was misguided and the funding would have been better spent on fully empowered warranted officers.
This question, more than any other reflected contributors straying off the pay subject and more into the conditions of working, which evidently need significant reform.
Many of the comments contained within the review echo the sentiments expressed by officers and staff that contribute to the Thin Blue Line and other similar sites.
Tom Winsor and the review team will undoubtedly strip out the comments that stray from the focus of pay and conditions. However, these comments are a useful barometer for the current malaise and low morale within the service and must be addressed if the service is to regain the support of its rank and file staff. This should form the basis of a separate, confidential process that provides the facility for anonymous contributions, without any form of retribution or detriment. The service needs the rank and file support far more than replaceable ACPO and SMT ranks, and this should be treated as an absolute priority.
The pay and conditions review should take full account of the views expressed by police officers doing the job as well as those officers in managerial roles.
There is a distinct “Gap” between ACPO/SMT and the frontline officers at present, and this gap widens with every publicized ACPO malpractice such as the leaked secret document to the Home Office, Chief Officer bonus payments, manipulated crime statistics and the continual building and preservation of empirical bureaucratic fiefdoms.
Pay and conditions is an emotive subject. Handled insensitively and disproportionately will send morale spiraling downward. The majority of officers accept that policing has its part to play in delivering cuts within its sector. However, this must not be at the expense of service delivery. The frontline or response policing must be protected at all costs, with pay and conditions that reflect the uniqueness of the role. Other sectors of policing, back office functions, PCSO functions, numbers and functions of Chief Officer & SMT roles must be scrutinized and proven to deliver true value for money if they are to remain.
The “Gap” between ACPO/SMT and the rank and file must be reduced if the service is to come together and deliver an improved overall service that will restore confidence both within and without the service.
In the private sector, the Directors of a company ignore the views and thoughts of its workforce at its peril. The workforce has direct interface with the public who pay the wages and know what they want and expect from the service. The time has come for rationalization and greater co-operation within the service between all ranks, with greater negotiation parity and power provided to the rank and file Police Federation to ensure that the spirit of fairness is achieved going forward. Failure to do this opens the door for politicians to divide and conquer within the service.
All past grievances should be put aside.
Before throwing the baby out with the bathwater, all sides should review the competency and fairness of the present system using the Police Negotiating Board. ACPO, in their secret document to the Home Office, suggested that the PNB may no longer be fit for its purpose. On past performance, ACPO have shown themselves not to be beyond seeking political favour above the welfare of rank and file officers and we question the validity of the suggestion and indeed their motives behind making it. On this site we have raised concerns about potential conflicts with ACPOS sitting on both sides of the negotiating committee. However, going forward, it is imperative that officers and staff are represented fairly by any body that will have an influence over the pay and conditions of our police officers. Only when all sides agree unanimously that the current mechanism is outdated, should the process be replaced.
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