Friday, 27 August 2010

WHY WOULD A FAKE COP FEEL SO AT HOME AT THE ACPO CONFERENCE?



A MAN obsessed with the police got into a top cops' summit - dressed as a TRAFFIC officer.

Wayne Dawes, 40, wandered among hundreds of chief constables, politicians and senior officers at the Association of Chief Police Officers' summer conference in Manchester, which was attended by Home Secretary Theresa May.

He even posed for photos by a display of police cars in his pretend uniform without being sussed.

A witness at the conference said: "Everyone just assumed he was a police officer. No one batted an eyelid."

A source said: "He has a weird fixation with the police. It beggars belief that an oddball dressed as a traffic cop could mix with senior officers unchallenged at a secure event."

Dawes was arrested for impersonating a police officer and is due to answer bail today. (We're only shocked that a few hundred or so ACPO and SMT ranks haven't been nicked for the same offence!) Dawes is understood to have been a special constable in West Yorks but had to quit because specials cannot work as private security guards. Dawes, of Hyde, Manchester has a conviction for tuning a scanner in to police radio messages.

The ACPO insisted cops' safety had not been put at risk at the conference and that Dawes had not spoken to Theresa May there. Which is a pity, he might have been among the few to put forward a sensible coherent comment! There is apparently no truth to the rumour that he was caught stuffing his face with chocolate dipped strawberries . . . . the ACPO Chiefs had scoffed them all before he got there.

On the basis of the ACPO conduct over recent times, and indeed, their track record to date, there are some that might suggest that Dawes would fit in quite well at ACPO.

To read the article in The Sun, click here, and in Police Oracle, click here. 

Friday, 20 August 2010

Policing in the 21st century: The Police Debate - Part 5 of 5 - Have Your Voice Heard


HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD

We have been invited to participate in the debate process for police reform via the police debate group on Linked In. As this is our link to the site, the reader may join Linked In to access the debate. Alternatively, to make participation easier, we will be posting the consultation questions in the key areas asked by the Home Office over a five part series of articles.

We have all witnessed the ACPO betrayal of the rank and file troops with leaking of the "Secret Document" this week. We followed our first article on this subject with "The Case Against ACPO", providing further evidence supporting the growing argument that these questions are too important to be left to ACPO alone and that the front line troops must have their voices heard.

On these pages and on other sites, here and here, we will be posting the consultation questions, collating the responses (anonymous is ok), and presenting them to the panel for inclusion within the debate. We believe the panel should recognise and include the Police Federation in the debate process now, so protecting the interests and presenting the views of the rank and file. The Federation should not be an afterthought, left to fight over policies and strategies already forced home by ACPO. ACPO are the managerial and strategic presence, the Federation should be empowered to stand alongside them in these early stages so that the most balanced and fair outcomes are arrived at.

In the meantime, this is your chance to let the panel know your views about the crucial reforms being considered in UK policing. Either on here, on the other sites we have linked above or directly via the Linked In debate pages, let us know your thoughts and experiences.

The debate process is in five parts, each of which contain a series on consultation questions. To see the consultation questions under each section, click the links below, each of which has been allocated a seperate posting from these pages. From time to time, we will post our own responses and those from other contributors from other sites.

5. Policing in the 21st Century: "Tackling crime together"

So, let's now look at the final set, number 5 Policing in the 21st Century: "Tackling crime together"

The Home Office's consultation paper aims to give everyone a say in how their area is
policed, with everyone able to play their part in cutting crime. There are plans to give
more opportunities for citizens to attend beat meetings, to get involved in Neighbourhood Watch, and to volunteer within the police service and the wider criminal justice system.

The consultation paper asks (in summary):

1. What more can the Government do to support the public to take a more active role in keeping neighbourhoods safe?
2. How can the Government encourage more people to volunteer (including as special constables) and provide necessary incentives to encourage them to stay?
3. What more can central Government do to make the criminal justice system more efficient?
4. What prescriptions from Government get in the way of effective local partnership working?
5. What else needs to be done to simplify and improve community safety and criminal justice work locally?

What are your views?

WANT TO SEE ALL THE CONSULTATION QUESTIONS - CLICK HERE

Policing in the 21st century: The Police Debate - Part 4 of 5 - Have Your Voice Heard


HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD

We have been invited to participate in the debate process for police reform via the police debate group on Linked In. As this is our link to the site, the reader may join Linked In to access the debate. Alternatively, to make participation easier, we will be posting the consultation questions in the key areas asked by the Home Office over a five part series of articles.

We have all witnessed the ACPO betrayal of the rank and file troops with leaking of the "Secret Document" this week. We followed our first article on this subject with "The Case Against ACPO", providing further evidence supporting the growing argument that these questions are too important to be left to ACPO alone and that the front line troops must have their voices heard.

On these pages and on other sites, here and here, we will be posting the consultation questions, collating the responses (anonymous is ok), and presenting them to the panel for inclusion within the debate. We believe the panel should recognise and include the Police Federation in the debate process now, so protecting the interests and presenting the views of the rank and file. The Federation should not be an afterthought, left to fight over policies and strategies already forced home by ACPO. ACPO are the managerial and strategic presence, the Federation should be empowered to stand alongside them in these early stages so that the most balanced and fair outcomes are arrived at.

In the meantime, this is your chance to let the panel know your views about the crucial reforms being considered in UK policing. Either on here, on the other sites we have linked above or directly via the Linked In debate pages, let us know your thoughts and experiences.

The debate process is in five parts, each of which contain a series on consultation questions. To see the consultation questions under each section, click the links below, each of which has been allocated a seperate posting from these pages. From time to time, we will post our own responses and those from other contributors from other sites.

4. Policing in the 21st Century: "A national framework for efficient local policing"


So, let's now look at number 4 Policing in the 21st Century: "A national framework for efficient local policing"

The Home Office propose the phasing out of the NPIA, and revised roles for Association of Chief Police Officers and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. A new National Crime Agency will be tasked with combatting organised crime and protecting our borders.

The consultation paper asks (in summary):

1. What policing functions should be delivered between forces acting collaboratively?
2. What are the principal obstacles to collaboration between forces or with other partners, and how can they be addressed?
3. Are there functions which need greater national co-ordination or which would make sense to organise and run nationally (whilst still being delivered locally)?
4. How can the police service take advantage of private sector expertise to improve value for money?
5. Alongside its focus on organised crime and border security, what functions might a new National Crime Agency deliver on behalf of police forces, and how should it be held to account?
6. What arrangements should be put in place to ensure that there is a sufficient pool of chief officers available? Is there a role for other providers to provide training?
7. How can we rapidly increase the capability within the police service to become more business-like, with police leaders taking on a more prominent role to help drive necessary cultural change in delivering sustainable business process improvement?

Please add your views to the debate...

WANT TO SEE ALL THE CONSULTATION QUESTIONS - CLICK HERE

Policing in the 21st century: The Police Debate - Part 3 of 5 - Have Your Voice Heard


HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD

We have been invited to participate in the debate process for police reform via the police debate group on Linked In. As this is our link to the site, the reader may join Linked In to access the debate. Alternatively, to make participation easier, we will be posting the consultation questions in the key areas asked by the Home Office over a five part series of articles.

We have all witnessed the ACPO betrayal of the rank and file troops with leaking of the "Secret Document" this week. We followed our first article on this subject with "The Case Against ACPO", providing further evidence supporting the growing argument that these questions are too important to be left to ACPO alone and that the front line troops must have their voices heard.

On these pages and on other sites, here and here, we will be posting the consultation questions, collating the responses (anonymous is ok), and presenting them to the panel for inclusion within the debate. We believe the panel should recognise and include the Police Federation in the debate process now, so protecting the interests and presenting the views of the rank and file. The Federation should not be an afterthought, left to fight over policies and strategies already forced home by ACPO. ACPO are the managerial and strategic presence, the Federation should be empowered to stand alongside them in these early stages so that the most balanced and fair outcomes are arrived at.

In the meantime, this is your chance to let the panel know your views about the crucial reforms being considered in UK policing. Either on here, on the other sites we have linked above or directly via the Linked In debate pages, let us know your thoughts and experiences.

The debate process is in five parts, each of which contain a series on consultation questions. To see the consultation questions under each section, click the links below, each of which has been allocated a seperate posting from these pages. From time to time, we will post our own responses and those from other contributors from other sites.

3. Policing in the 21st Century: "Removing bureaucratic accountability"

So, let's now look at number 3 Policing in the 21st Century: "Removing bureaucratic accountability"

The Home Office consultation paper sets out proposals to tackle the bureaucratic burden on police officers. It asks (in summary):

1. What are examples of unnecessary bureaucracy within police forces, and how can these be removed?
2. How should forces ensure efficient provision of information to local communities?
3. What information should HMIC use to support a more proportionate approach to their 'public facing performance role', while reducing burdens and avoiding de-facto targets?
4. How can ACPO change the culture of the police service to move away from compliance with detailed guidance to the use of professional judgement within a clear framework based around outcomes?
5. How can we share knowledge about policing techniques that cut crime without creating endless guidance?

• We would be keen to hear views on whether the removal of targets and pledges makes a difference if the statistics still need to be collected and performance compared on report cards.

• Will it take the removal of the central performance management machinery to really give back discretion to the police?


What are your views?

WANT TO SEE ALL THE CONSULTATION QUESTIONS - CLICK HERE

Policing in the 21st century: The Police Debate - Part 2 of 5 - Have Your Voice Heard


HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD

We have been invited to participate in the debate process for police reform via the police debate group on Linked In. As this is our link to the site, the reader may join Linked In to access the debate. Alternatively, to make participation easier, we will be posting the consultation questions in the key areas asked by the Home Office over a five part series of articles.

We have all witnessed the ACPO betrayal of the rank and file troops with leaking of the "Secret Document" this week. We followed our first article on this subject with "The Case Against ACPO", providing further evidence supporting the growing argument that these questions are too important to be left to ACPO alone and that the front line troops must have their voices heard.

On these pages and on other sites, here and here, we will be posting the consultation questions, collating the responses (anonymous is ok), and presenting them to the panel for inclusion within the debate. We believe the panel should recognise and include the Police Federation in the debate process now, so protecting the interests and presenting the views of the rank and file. The Federation should not be an afterthought, left to fight over policies and strategies already forced home by ACPO. ACPO are the managerial and strategic presence, the Federation should be empowered to stand alongside them in these early stages so that the most balanced and fair outcomes are arrived at.

In the meantime, this is your chance to let the panel know your views about the crucial reforms being considered in UK policing. Either on here, on the other sites we have linked above or directly via the Linked In debate pages, let us know your thoughts and experiences.

The debate process is in five parts, each of which contain a series on consultation questions. To see the consultation questions under each section, click the links below, each of which has been allocated a seperate posting from these pages. From time to time, we will post our own responses and those from other contributors from other sites.


1. Policing in the 21st Century: "The Challenge"
2. Policing in the 21st Century: "Increasing democratic accountability"
3. Policing in the 21st Century: "Removing bureaucratic accountability"
4. Policing in the 21st Century: "A national framework for efficient local policing"
5. Policing in the 21st Century: "Tackling crime together"

So, let's now look at number 2 Policing in the 21st Century: "Increasing democratic accountability"

The Home Office consultation paper sets out proposals for increasing democratic accountability, and asks (in summary):

1. Will the proposed checks and balances provide suitable safeguards for the work of Commissioners, and are there further safeguards that should be considered?
2. What could be done to ensure that candidates for Commissioner come from a wide range of backgrounds?
3. How should Commissioners best work with the wider criminal justice and community safety partners?
4. How might Commissioners best work with their communities - individuals, businesses and voluntary organisations - at the neighbourhood level?
5. How can the Commissioner and the greater transparency of local information drive improvements in the most deprived and least safe neighbourhoods?
6. What information would help the public make judgements about their force and Commissioner?

What are your views?...

WANT TO SEE ALL THE CONSULTATION QUESTIONS - CLICK HERE

Policing in the 21st century: The Police Debate - Part 1 of 5 - Have Your Voice Heard


The police service is facing its biggest challenge for a generation with the current policing reform consultation heralding fundamental changes in the policing landscape. The Home Office consultation paper "Policing in the 21st Century" identifies the need to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the service, whilst managing the careful balance between the demand from citizens for visible policing, tackling low level crime, and the continuing need of Forces to focus on serious and organised crime, and counter- terrorism.

'Policing in the 21st century: reconnecting police and the people' is a consultation document released by the Home Office on 26th July 2010. The consultation closes on 20th September 2010.

An expert panel was brought together to explore ways in which the government can take forward these reforms. The debate focuses on the paper's proposals around accountability and structure with discussions around the impact of directly elected Police and Crime commissioners and how will these reflect the needs of diverse local communities, as well discussing the potential role of the new National Crime Agency and how this will impact existing national policing priorities. Panel members were:

Rt, Hon Nick Herbert MP – Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice
Cllr Mark Burns-Williamson – Deputy Chair, Association of Police Authorities and Chair, West Yorkshire Police Authority
Mark Rowley – Chief Constable, Surrey Police and ACPO Futures lead
Nick Gargan – Deputy Chief Constable and Deputy Chief Executive, National Policing Improvement Agency
Irene Curtis – Chief Superintendent, Lancashire Police and Vice President Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales

HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD

We have been invited to participate in the debate process online via the police debate group on Linked In. As this is our link to the site, the reader may join Linked In to access the debate. Alternatively, to make participation easier, we will be posting the  consultation questions in the key areas asked by the Home Office over a five part series of articles.

We have all witnessed the ACPO betrayal of the rank and file troops with leaking of the "Secret Document" this week. We followed our first article on this subject with "The Case Against ACPO", providing further evidence supporting the growing argument that these questions are too important to be left to ACPO alone and that the front line troops must have their voices heard.

On these pages and on other sites, here and here, we will be posting the consultation questions, collating the responses (anonymous is ok), and presenting them to the panel for inclusion within the debate. We believe the panel should recognise and include the Police Federation in the debate process now, so protecting the interests and presenting the views of the rank and file. The Federation should not be an afterthought, left to fight over policies and strategies already forced home by ACPO. ACPO are the managerial and strategic presence, the Federation should be empowered to stand alongside them in these early stages so that the most balanced and fair outcomes are arrived at. 

In the meantime, this is your chance to let the panel know your views about the crucial reforms being considered in UK policing. Either on here, on the other sites we have linked above or directly via the Linked In debate pages, let us know your thoughts and experiences.  

The debate process is in five parts, each of which contain a series on consultation questions. To see the consultation questions under each section, click the links below, each of which has been allocated a seperate posting from these pages. From time to time, we will post our own responses and those from other contributors from other sites.

1. Policing in the 21st Century: "The Challenge"
2. Policing in the 21st Century: "Increasing democratic accountability"
3. Policing in the 21st Century: "Removing bureaucratic accountability"
4. Policing in the 21st Century: "A national framework for efficient local policing"
5. Policing in the 21st Century: "Tackling crime together"

So, let's jump right in with 1. Policing in the 21st Century: "The Challenge"

The Home Office consultation paper, 'Policing in the 21st century: reconnecting police and the people', sets out Government proposals to make police in England and Wales "more available and responsive, more accountable, more effective, and deliver better value for money".

The key features of the government's proposed reforms include:

1. electing policing and crime commissioners to hold police forces to account and strengthen the bond between the police and the public
2. a powerful new National Crime Agency to lead the fight against organised crime and strengthen our border security
3. greater collaboration between police forces to increase public protection and save money
4. phasing out the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA)
5. cutting bureaucracy, removing restrictive health and safety procedures and freeing up police officers' time
6. a clear role for everyone, including members of the public, in cutting crime through beat meetings, neighbourhood watch schemes and voluntary groups.

What are your broad views on this overarching challenge?

[Note there are separate discussion threads to cover the specifics of democratic accountability, bureaucracy, national policing framework and cross-CJ working]

WANT TO SEE ALL THE CONSULTATION QUESTIONS - CLICK HERE

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.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

DISGRACEFUL ACPO BETRAY THE FRONTLINE POLICE TROOPS AGAIN!

In yet another example of ACPO using the Home Office and the media to deflect attention away from their own nefarious conduct, they submitted a secret document*  to the Home Secretary suggesting, among forty-nine recommendations, that the pay and conditions of the federated ranks be dramatically slashed. Police chiefs submitted the secret document to the Home Office ahead of severe public spending cuts, suggesting that hundreds of millions of pounds could be saved by overhauling the long-established “Spanish practices”. *(Link to document removed 1/5/2012 at the request of ACPO)

They hope that front-line jobs can be saved by cutting the £450million a year overtime bill and other “out-of-date” rules on pay and conditions.

Under the plans, overtime rates would drop from twice the regular pay to time-and-a-half for working on public holidays.  But the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said the plans, disclosed on Thursday, were “appalling” and warned they would drive experienced police out of the job. 

A source said that, if all the cuts were implemented, an officer who had served for 12 months in his current rank could be up to £5,000 worse off a year. The leak, to the industry magazine Police Review, has caused a major row. It is an inauspicious start to what are expected to be bruising negotiations between the federation, police chiefs and ministers in coming months and it looks ACPO are are hell bent on bolstering the ‘us & them’ rift between frontline police and public, created by successive governments.

Convenient that they have the ear of the Home Office and that this document should be “leaked” to the press, when the frontliners have no such channel.

It is ACPO that conveniently didn’t tell the Police Federation that they had done it. 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. A small number of chief constables helped the ACPO president, Sir Hugh Orde, to write the document in a week, so that Sir Hugh could then dash off for his annual leave.

Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, 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. We are currently in discussions with (ACPO president) Sir Hugh Orde and we hope that our concerns will be fully addressed on his return from annual leave."

For an indication of the front line reaction to the secretive, if not furtive release of this document click here.

HOW HAVE ACPO BETRAYED THE RANK AND FILE?

The manner in which this document has been leaked is far more deceitful and respresents more of a betrayal than may first be supposed. It can be no coincidence that the document entered the public arena within hours of press coverage of "Rows over Bonuses" fed once again by ACPO.

The timelines spell out the story.

In 2002/3 David Blunkett, then Home Secretary, introduced to offer incentives for performance. Five types of bonus were available, including extra payments for officers who show “professional competence” or carry out “demanding work”.

In January 2009, Heather Brooke, the reporter who broke the MP Expenses scandal, togther with Sean O'Neill, the crime editor at the Times, issued freedom of information requests of all 43 forces. A secretive bonus scheme had been set up to reward the country’s top 300 police officers, paying out hundreds of thousands of pounds every year. In some cases the bonuses were awarded on the basis of “self-evaluation” by chief constables. Critics claimed that the payments were further evidence of what was called a “gravy boat” at the top of policing. The police chiefs who accepted bonuses not only refused to reveal the amounts, but also declined to say what they were for. ACPO Intervened and the FOI requests were thwarted.

What about the rights and freedoms of taxpayers to know how their money is spent? What about knowing the criteria on which these bonuses are awarded? Are chiefs paid for achieving political goals? For decreasing crime statistics? For increasing the number of ethnic minority officers? We just don’t know.

By this time the Chiefs had been receiving the bonuses for 6-7 years. Plenty of time you might think, for them to raise objections about the immorality of such payments.

On January 24th 2009, Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, called for an end to the bonus scheme which has paid out thousands to top-ranking officers. Chief constables can receive bonuses worth up to 15% of their salary, deputy chiefs up to 12.5% and assistant chiefs 10%. These bonuses are dependent on the individual performance of the chief officers and how they lead their forces towards achieving national and local objectives. But Mr Fahy said: "Many chief constables profoundly disagreed with this because achieving the bonus might introduce an element of personal interest in how police policies were implemented. "Also, whenever a target is achieved it is usually because many members of staff have been involved in the effort. No-one does policing because of the money."


According to the Times, bosses at Greater Manchester Police received bonuses of more than £53,000 in a year. It also reported that following the Freedom of Information requests being repeated via the police authorities, that bonuses under the scheme for Norfolk Constabulary were £25,600, Devon and Cornwall's amount was £20,000 and Hertfordshire's figure was £13,300. Norfolk and Greater Manchester police authorities confirmed their totals, but Devon and Cornwall and Hertfordshire police authorities said they could not confirm their figures. The paper also said that Strathclyde Chief Constable Stephen House - the most senior officer in Scotland - was paid a bonus for his first six months in post while North Wales Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom was given £14,249.07.


The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) said it paid bonuses totalling £190,935 to 35 senior staff in 2006/2007.

Over a year later, bonus payments were, and are still being paid to Chief Officers.

The cat was well and truly out of the bag even before we wrote our first article on this on 9th December 2009. http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com/2009/12/top-cops-pay-crime-scandal.html

In May 2010, we published the first of three further articles - TOO MANY CHIEFS? PART 1 - THE BONUS SCANDAL EXPOSED

Introducing the full report we wrote "The arrival of a new Liberal/Tory Government committed to opening the books of public sector profligate spending has resulted in Senior Police Chiefs hitting the headlines this week, protesting that the gravy train bonus scheme they have enjoyed was "forced upon them".

How things changed since last year when ACPO intervened to stop The Times finding out which chiefs were receiving bonuses and how much they were getting.

On 18th May 2010 Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police commissioner called for the bonuses for all police officers to be scrapped to repair public confidence in the service.



On 14th August 2010, the most recent attempts by the ACPO to denounce the bonuses they have enjoyed for SEVEN years hit the headlines. Private sector-style bonuses have "no place in policing", chief constables have said amid reports officers received more than £150m last year. The payments have always been "anathema to policing", said ACPO head Sir Hugh Orde. ('ANATHEMA' - A curse, a detested or loathed thing'). For something that was so detested, so loathed, considered so much of a curse, it must have been awful for them to have to tolerate it for 7 years!

Decisions on bonus payments are made by individual chief officers but many, including ACPO vice president Tim Hollis at Humberside Police and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, have refused to accept them.



Sir Paul has said he has turned down more than £100,000 in bonuses since 2005. We can't help but wonder if he was actually offered twenty five grand a year? If so, is it documented or is this a calculation based on his basic salary?

However, five chief officers at Northumberland Police have reportedly shared £115,000 between them. More than 500 senior officers receive payments for targets worth a reported £1.5m per year.

Amid growing anger over bonus payments in the public sector, the most recent FOI figures disclose that performance bonuses for superintendents, who earn around £70,000 a year, are worth an annual £2.5 million and have risen by 70 per cent since 2007 in some forces.

Although many chief constables, their deputies and assistants are now refusing to accept their bonuses, half are still receiving an average £11,000 based on their performance, the figures show.



Five chief officers at Northumbria Police shared performance-related bonuses last year of £115,500.


In neighbouring Durham, one chief picked up an £18,700 bonus in 2009-10; in South Wales another received £14,300, and in South Yorkshire four senior officers shared £69,000.

Despite Sir Paul Stephenson telling The Daily Telegraph in May that all types of police bonus should be scrapped to prove that officers were motivated solely by their duty to serve the public, according to the 2009-10 figures, the Met remains one of the worst offenders for paying bonuses at a senior level.

Superintendents and chief superintendents who earn a performance-related bonus receive, on average, £3,000 a year on top of their salary of £62,000 to £78,000. In the Met, Britain’s largest force, 136 of the highly ranked officers shared £567,000 in bonuses – a 70 per cent rise since 2007-8.

"All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke (British Statesman and Philosopher 1729-1797)



How these words ring true when applied to many of the upper ranks of British policing.

Where were the protestations and signs of dissent when the bonuses were introduced and for the 7 years many of these fat cats have been gleefully riding the gravy train and happily taken their millions in this orchestrated, deceitful practice. Yet another example of the ACPO ranks using the media to protest their innocence about the bonus schemes. More smoke and mirrors to suggest that this was forced upon them by the Labour adminstration. HOGWASH!      Sorry chaps... TOO BLOODY LATE!    Forgive us if we don't believe a word of it.

"EVIDENCE OF RECENT COMPLAINT" - If the Chief Officers that have benefitted so extravagantly from these bonuses possessed an ounce of honest decency, they would have rejected the bonus payments in their entireity from day 1. Only now, when they are looking to ingratiate themselves with the new Government, do they protest that bonuses were a devisive anathema.

AND WORSE . . . . 

The disclosures in this article and previous reports we have published from these pages detail some of the extravagances that have surfaced to date. Knowing that they have accepted these payments regardless of the recent protestations, ACPO now

commits the ultimate betrayal of deflecting the attention away from their activities to issue this secret document without consulting the rank and file, and guess who and what is the target if their attention?

YOU GOT IT! The frontline officers who benefit legitimately from the extra hours they have to work just to provide us, the tax paying public with the basic police service. Who got the management of resources so badly wrong in the first place, resulting in less than 10% of warranted officers employed in visible policing? YEP, those very same ACPO Officers.

To quote from Sir High Orde in the introduction to the "secret document" : "The police service of this country is used to dealing with crisis; it is what we do. Normally they are of the operational kind so well illustrated by recent events in Cumbria and Northumbria. However, the current challenge is one that is shared by the whole public sector. In short, we are facing the most severe cuts in living memory".

To the policing Ministers that read these pages, the rank and file officers of this country, and the tax paying public urge you to start your cuts AT THE TOP, with these very ACPO Officers.  A good place to start would be those officers revealed only this week who are paid more than the Prime Minister.

























FOOTNOTE 1

A well written article on this subject, informed and reasoned is worth a read at http://thethinkingpoliceman.blogspot.com/2010/08/police-bonuses.html

FOOTNOTE 2

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.”

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