Tuesday, 21 September 2010

AND TONIGHT MATTHEW, SIR HUGH ORDE WILL BE . . . . .


Sir Hugh Orde, dreaming of his hero . . . .

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE!


Monday, 20 September 2010

TOP 10 HIGHEST PAID COPS - ARE THEY REALLY WORTH IT??

Should you be near your TV this evening, you might want to watch "Panorama: Because we're worth it - The Taxpayers Rich List", on BBC One Monday 20th September at 2030BST and then available on BBC iPlayer. 

We were contacted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism a few months ago advising that they were preparing this program for Panorama and they were specifically interested in the pay and bonus structures of the Chief Police Officers. 

Readers will not be surprised to learn that Chief Officers feature frequently in the highest paid Rich List the public sector. What should be born in mind though, is that theis program was completed before the 2.5% pay rise that the Chiefs too have enjoyed since September 1st. So even the astronomic figures quoted are understated.

We have shown the TOP 10 HIGHEST PAID police personnel above and would ask the question "Are they really worth this much?" Furthermore, is it right that these highly paid, self serving ACPO ranked officers should have a total say in the pay and conditions of the rank and file?

In a report we will publish over the coming weeks, we will show that even based on basic salary:-

14 Chief Officers are paid a basic of £150,000+
6 Chief Officers are paid between £140 to £150,000 per annum
26 Chief Officers (inc Met Deputies) are paid between £130 and £140,000 per annum.

More than 38,000 government workers are paid over £100,000

In the most detailed analysis of government salaries ever undertaken, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveals just how many high earners there are at the top.

More than 38,000 government workers are paid over £100,000, and 9,187 earn more than the Prime Minister (£142,500), according to the Bureau’s public sector pay database.

The findings put an end to the myth that the public sector worker trades high pay for job security and gold plated pensions.

The revelations will also come as a shock to central government, whose best estimate puts the number of high-earners at just 25,000, a miscalculation of more than 50 per cent.

The data also reveals that despite years of legislation and campaigning aimed at achieving gender equality in the public sector, the glass ceiling has hardly cracked, let alone, been smashed.

Among public sector workers paid more than £100,000 only one in five are women.

The Public Sector
The scale and scope of the public sector has exploded since Labour came to power in 1997. Then it employed 5.2 million people, but over the last 13 years that has jumped to 6.1 million.

Pay has ballooned too. The government’s wage bill has jumped 29 per cent in five years to hit £157.7bn. At the top the figures are still more dramatic. The pay for the highest three per cent of public sector jobs has risen by a massive 64 per cent in the past decade.

As the government grapples to restore the country’s battered public finances, it is the public sector that will bear the brunt of the cuts. Already the government is talking of stemming public pay, with pay freezes and cuts to bonus payments.

But critics fear that most of the cost cutting will be made at grassroots level rather than among those at the top – and yet according to this new data Britain’s highest paid public servants cost the country nearly £5bn a year.

According to Cabinet Office Minister Sir Frances Maude: “You don’t need to pay stupendous amounts to get good people. You can square the circle of having really good people not on telephone number salaries and massive built in bonuses. That public service ethos is very important.”

Every sector is represented from fire fighters to police chiefs, army bosses to teachers, doctors, civil servants and quango directors, regulators and council heads, with many sectors paying hundreds, if not thousands of staff more than the £142,500 paid to their ultimate boss, the Prime Minister. The National Health Service (NHS) alone pays nearly 6,500 employees more than David Cameron.

The prime minister and his cabinet took the 5% pay cut when they formed the government at a time of record deficits and a sluggish economy.

In collaboration with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Panorama requested pay details from most of the UK's publicly funded organisations, including local authorities, schools, universities, the BBC, the NHS and the government agencies known as quangos.

When the Government start applying the fiscal scalpel to policing, they should start at the top.


THERE ARE TOO MANY CHIEFS. MANY OF THEM ARE PAID TOO MUCH.

THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH INDIANS AT THE FRONTLINE OF POLICING.

THESE ARE FUNDAMENTAL BASICS. THE GOVERNMENT MUST REVERSE THIS PROFLIGATE TREND IF THERE IS TO BE ANY HOPE OF RESTORING FAITH IN THE SERVICE, MORALE IN THE TROOPS AND CONFIDENCE IN THE LEADERSHIP OF THE SERVICE.


Friday, 10 September 2010

"CHRISTMAS FOR CRIMINALS" - AN IMPASSIONED PLEA FOR THE FUTURE OF POLICING BY PAUL MCKEEVER - CHAIRMAN OF THE POLICE FEDERATION OF ENGLAND & WALES

Paul McKeever - Chairman Police Federation
of England & Wales

As supporters of the front line police officers in the UK, we are in total support of the efforts of Paul McKeever, Chairman of the Police Federation of England & Wales. Paul is not afraid to put his head above the parapet and stand up for the rank and file officers when it is clear that their position is being unfairly compromised or threatened.

Paul and support team, together with Federation representatives from forces all around the country were aghast recently, when the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), in a digraceful act of betrayal to their junior colleagues, compiled and forwarded a secret document to the Home Office, making 49 recommendations that included drastic slashing cuts to the pay and conditions of federated ranks. In a totally self serving and deceitful act, the 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. No recommendation was made by ACPO to accept any reductions to THEIR numbers or conditions.

ACPO have courted contraversy all too often in recent years, with many examples of profligate spending and nefarious activities with a shameful disregard for the rank and file officers who actually police our streets and keep us safe.

We are pleased to reprint here, an informed and impassioned plea from Paul McKeever, regarding the proposed budgetary cauts to UK policing, asking why other areas of the public sector are ring fenced, yet policing, which affects the quality of all of our lives, every day, looks set to face fiscal cuts that will impact on us all. To download the full transcript click here. Alternatively, click on the images below to enlarge.

Over to you Paul ....


Thursday, 2 September 2010

SHOULD THE FEDERATION HAVE PARITY WITH ACPO ON POLICE REFORMS?

WE MAKE NO APOLOGY FOR THE LENGTH OF THIS ARTICLE.
ITS CONTENT IS IMPORTANT TO EVERY RANK AND FILE POLICE OFFICER.

We have all witnessed the ACPO leaking of the "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 without reference to the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) and without reference to the Federation and oblivious to the rights of rank and file officers.

We wrote about it first on Thin Blue Line and then in our article "The case against ACPO"

Readers may recall it was 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.

In response to hearing of the leaked document, 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."

It is time that the rank and file officer was given a voice and the recognition the role and the experience deserves. In any future reforms, the Federation should take its place alongside ACPO in any negotiations and consultations with the Government and elected officials over police reform. 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 cannot be satisfactory.

Senior Officers and the rank and file must be reconciled as one service. It cannot 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.

We have posted an article to the forum pages of Police Oracle and to the Police Debate Group on Linked In.

On prior track record, at the very least ACPO have shown themselves to be self serving, manipulative, deceitful and disloyal to the rank and file whose trust they should be looking to rebuild. If the federation were granted parity with ACPO in any future negotiations, there might be a chance of some fair play being dished out when the reform proposals are presented.

As a result of our article on the Oracle Forum there are some serious irregularities that raise considerable cause for concern about the structure and membership of the PNB.

The Police Negotiating Board

According to the PNB website "The Police Negotiating Board (PNB) was established by Act of Parliament in 1980 to negotiate the hours of duty; leave; pay and allowances; the issue, use and return of police clothing, personal equipment and accoutrements; and pensions of United Kingdom police officers, and to make recommendations on these matters to the Home Secretary, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Scottish Ministers. It is governed by a Constitution ".

Section 61 of the Police Act 1996 states:

The Police Negotiating Board for the United Kingdom


(1) There shall continue to be a Police Negotiating Board for the United Kingdom for the consideration by persons representing the interests of—
(a) the authorities who between them maintain the police forces in Great Britain and the Royal Ulster Constabulary,
(b) the persons who are members of those police forces or of that Constabulary or are police cadets,
(c) the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, and
(d) the Secretary of State,

of questions relating to hours of duty, leave, pay and allowances, pensions or the issue, use and return of police clothing, personal equipment and accoutrements.


The latest constituents of the PNB are:

Official side (Full PNB): 

Secretaries of State (Home Secretary, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Scottish Ministers)
The Association of Police Authorities of England and Wales (including one member representing the Metropolitan Police Authority)
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
The Northern Ireland Policing Board
Association of Chief Police Officers (to include the Metropolitan Police Commissioner) -ACPO
Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland - ACPOS


Staff Side (Full PNB)


Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association (England and Wales) - CPOSA
Scottish Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association - SCPOSA
Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales
Association of Scottish Police Superintendents
Superintendents’ Association of Northern Ireland
Police Federation of England and Wales
Scottish Police Federation
Police Federation for Northern Ireland

Now, according to the The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) own website,

"ACPO is not a staff association (the separately constituted Chief Police Officers' Association fulfils that function). ACPO's work is on behalf of the Service, rather than its own members. The Association has the status of a private company limited by guarantee. As such, it conforms to the requirements of company law and its affairs are governed by a Board of Directors."

The 'separately constituted Chief Police Officers' Association', however does not appear to have its own website and we can find very little information about them.

Similarly ACPOS state on their website "We are an independent organisation registered in Scotland with Companies House (company number SC310956) as a company limited by guarantee. We are also a charity registered in Scotland (no. SC039323)."

Again the SCPOSA does not have its own website and we can find very little information about them.

Section 64 of the Police Act 1996 states

Membership of trade unions :

(1) Subject to the following provisions of this section, a member of a police force shall not be a member of any trade union, or of any association having for its objects, or one of its objects, to control or influence the pay, pensions or conditions of service of any police force.

(3) If any question arises whether any body is a trade union or an association to which this section applies, the question shall be determined by the chief registrar of friendly societies.

(5) Nothing in this section applies to membership of the Police Federations, or of any body recognised by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this section as representing members of police forces who are not members of those Federations.

ACPO’s objectives are stated on their website:

"ACPO's objectives do not include “to control or influence the pay, pensions or conditions of service of any police force.”

All of this raised some questions:

(1) If ACPO's objectives are not "to control or influence the pay, pensions or conditions of service of any police force.” then what purpose, role or use do they have in sitting on the Official Side of the PNB? As far as I can see they cannot make any contribution to negotiations without their members being guilty of contravening Section 61(1) of the Police Act 1996.

It seems abundantly clear that by virtue of these submissions, ACPO are proposing to control and influence the pay pensions and (in other sections) the conditions of service of police forces. Albeit that they may say that these were submissions to the Home Office only, by failing to include the other members of the PNB they have acted in isolation which suggests they are more concerned with satisfying political masters than abiding by police protocols. Without scanning the full constitution of the Police Act, (which I will leave to the federation) I could not confirm that a prima facie contravention has occurred. On the face of it though, it appears most likely.

(2) In any case how can Chief Officers sit on both the Official Side (as ACPO) and the Staff Side (as CPOSA). Is there not a conflict of interest there? Which is the subgroup of the other? Is ACPO a subgroup of CPOSA or is it the other way round? Who controls who? Either way there must be partiality involved. Why for instance can't a subgroup of Superintedents, or a subgroup of the Federated Ranks, also sit on the Official Side?

We have not been able to locate any official trace of the constititional format of CPOSA. Companies House searches, Trade Association directory searches have proved fruitless. We find references to Senior Officers being the regional respresentative for CPOSA but to date we've been unable to get any further. Again, this is a question we will put to the federation. They must have some constitutional information so we can check if there is a conflict issue, which it would seem there is. It seems rather pointless having a staff side and an official side if both sides can have representatives and if it is correct that federated ranks can only sit on one side yet Senior Officers can sit on both reveals yet another anomoly.

(3) If a group of Chief Officers have decided to form a private company, why is that company allowed to take part in any negotiations involving the terms and conditions of police officers who are public servants?

The decision to form a private company would have had a degree of appeal only if the intentions were to disguise or conceal some of its activities as far as we can see. This is clearly the allegation that is facing ACPO and there may well be substance to the allegations. The evidence revealed in the media and as per our reports certainly seems to support this suspicion. (The uncontrolled and unaccountable spending is just one example). The present format of the PNB seems to allow for ACPO to be represented. but their status does present a serious cause for concern and potential embarrassment for them.

(4) Which Home Secretary actually authorised the membership of ACPO on the Official Side in the first place?

The first annual report of the PNB covers the period 11 February 2000 to 4 April 2001. The Home Secretary from 2 May 1997 to 8 June 2001 was Jack Straw under Tony Blairs Labour administration.

(5) If Chief Officers sit on both the Staff Side as CPOSA and the Official Side as ACPO, how can any discussions between the Staff Side members, ie the Federation, the Superintendents and Chief Officers be conducted in confidence? !!!!

In our view, they can't.

No doubt the abuse of these principle are what Paul McKeever is most aggrieved with.

THE SECRET ACPO DOCUMENT
A major cause for concern we would say is Recommendation 26:

"There are real concerns that the antiquated manner of operating that exists within PNB at the current time will not be capable of delivering at speed and thus will inhibit the ability of the Service and government to rectify existing issues and ensure the necessary flexibility that will be required to manage the workforce through this difficult and challenging period of critical workforce reform".

Recommendation 26 : ACPO accordingly urges the replacement of PNB with a pay review body.


Our fear for the rank and file here, is that the PNB may indeed be antiquated, but specifically, why would it not be capable of delivering at speed etc etc? This whole section stinks to high heaven of a "rush through" job to show the Government how powerfully and effectively ACPO can effect required cuts. However, this is at the expense of the federated ranks and the non federated ACPO ranks remain unaffected and ring fenced. Rushing through a replacement review body suggests the PNB doesn't permit the flexibility that ACPO would want with engineering cuts to federated pay, and by replacing it with a pay review body where they would wish to exercise tighter controls.

One industrious and keen officer over on the Oracle forum has dug his heels in ans contacted the PNB for clarification of some of these issues. Here is an extract:

THE POLICE NEGOTIATING BOARD (PNB)

From: XXXX
Sent: 26 August 2010 12:19
To: Blase Bill (OME)

Subject: Enquiry re constitution of PNB

Dear Sir,

I am interested in the history and constitution of the Police Negotiating Board and have downloaded your first Annual Report 2001 which includes Appendix E Short History of the Police Negotiating Board and also PNB Circular 01/19 which provides the revised Constitution published in August 2001. I was hoping you could clarify a couple of points:

I have noted that in the revised Constitution, the list of members of the Official Side (Full PNB) includes the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) (incl the Met Pol Com) and Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS).

I have also noted that the list of members of the Staff Side (full PNB) includes the Chief Police Officers Staff Association and the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.

According to the The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) own website,

"ACPO is not a staff association (the separately constituted Chief Police Officers' Association fulfils that function). ACPO's work is on behalf of the Service, rather than its own members. The Association has the status of a private company limited by guarantee. As such, it conforms to the requirements of company law and its affairs are governed by a Board of Directors."

The 'separately constituted Chief Police Officers' Association', however does not appear to have its own website and I can find very little information about them.

ACPOS similarly state on their website "We are an independent organisation registered in Scotland with Companies House (company number SC310956) as a company limited by guarantee. We are also a charity registered in Scotland (no. SC039323)." There does not appear to be a separate 'Chief Police Officers' Association in Scotland'.

Can you clarify why ACPOS in particular (because their specific name appears) can sit on both the Official Side and the Staff Side of the PNB ? Is there not a conflict of interest there? Also if a group of Chief Officers have decided to form a private company, why is that company allowed to take part in negotiations involving the terms and conditions of police officers who are public servants?

Can you also clarify whether the Chief Police Officer's Association and the Chief Police Officers' Staff Association are one and the same or different entities ? I can understand the presence of this body on the Staff Side but can't understand why a subgroup, or perhaps all of them, would want to form a private company called ACPO or ACPOS, and be given the right to sit on the Official Side also.

I hope you can throw some light on this area for me.
Thank you

And this is the reply that was received:

Dear Mr X

The Chief Police Officers Staff Association (CPOSA) is constituted separately from ACPO. The Chairman of CPOSA is Paul West (Chief Constable of West Mercia Police), and any enquiries about the association should be directed to him.

Concerning ACPOS, to the extent that there is any potential for a conflict of interest, it is for the Independent Chair of the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) to manage this in a way which upholds the public interest.

Any representative body needs to have legal personality to operate effectively. The structure of a company limited by guarantee is used by many charitable and other organisations for this purpose.

Yours sincerely

Bill Blase
PNB Independent Secretariat

First impression? What a fudge of an answer. Did you think the same?

Until they show that CPOSA is a formally structured entity, to outward appearances it just seems like a bunch of Chiefs who have gathered together in an unofficial club with an official sounding name. Who could blame anyone for supposing this, when there is no website, no trace of them on companies house and no open declaration of their status.

This raises the question.... If they have no legal status what the heck are they doing on the PNB staff side? Indeed, what is the justification for their presence on either side of the PNB as a persona non grata group? Call me a suspicious cynic (wouldn't be the first time) but it looks like a surreptitious ploy to place a set of spying representative eyes within the camp of the staff side.

Interesting that he should direct the writer to Paul West, a Chief Constable for clarification. Perhaps it is hoped that this will discourage the majority from asking the awkward questions that need to be asked.

John Randall is the Independent Chair of the PNB. The Chairman is appointed by the Prime Minister. The role of the Chair is to to "supply a neutral, independent voice in the negotiations and to assist in bringing the parties to agreement, through support, informal mediation and conciliation". As best as we can make out from the site, he has been Chair for 6 years (2004). He is a member of the Labour party. Our guess is that he might obfuscate when confronted with the conflict of interest question.

We hope we're wrong, but let's think this one through. He was appointed by Tony Blair whilst labour were in power. Randall is a member (not merely a voter) of the labour party. This is the labour party who are under such attack for the manner in which they have let policing deteriorate and elitism (ACPO) proliferate. We would be surprised if he could ever be classed as politically independent and would expect him to be defensive about having allowed CPOSA to remain on the PNB under his watch. Perhaps the question we should be asking is how a paid up political member can ever be viewed as independent? We know that ACPO and their ilke have been party politically biased toward Labour (I have written about their allegiances previously) mainly because their self serving interests were best served under Labour, whereas they were treated with an indifferent political attitude by prior administrations.

An independent status that is suspect is hardly in the public interest as Blases' second paragraph suggests.

Yes "Any representative body needs to have legal personality to operate effectively. The structure of a company limited by guarantee is used by many charitable and other organisations for this purpose".

Quite right. So shouldn't CPOSA have a visible legal personality to back this up? Otherwise, we must question their integrity and motives for having a presence on the PNB. With regard to the reference to a company being limited by guarantee (ACPO), this is nothing more than a smokescreen to disguise activities. Otherwise, they would be open to freedom of information requests, which up until recently, they have resisted. Indeed, Heather Brooke, the journalist who broke the MP scandal and Sean O'Neill (Times Crime Editor) had their FOI requests about Chief Officer bonuses blocked by ACPO. My guess is that they felt the hieracrch of the police was too powerful an animal to take on. However, the Telegraph were more successful, but only when it became clear that labour were on their way out. Again, we have written about this on this site and in our reports.

All in all, this is a very sordid and clandestine arrangement.

A few final summary points to consider:-

1. It is time that the Police Federation were granted full parity with ACPO on matters as sensitive as Police Reform, pay and pensions
2. ACPO should not be permitted to submit proposals to the Home Secretary on matters relating police pay, pensions and even reforms, without the prior input of the federated rank and file representation.
3. The status of ACPO as a company limited by guarantee MUST be questioned and sorted
4. The constitutional and legal status of CPOSA must be confirmed, transparent and legal
5. The PNB should not be chaired by an individual who is a paid up member of any political party. The chairman must be totally INDEPENDENT.
6. There should be distinctly separate sides on any board that negotiates pay. There should be a "Staff" side and and "Official" side, whose members are truly representative of the bodies they are accountable to.
7. It cannot be right that CPOSA (representing Chief Police Officers) have a presence on the staff side of the PNB.
8. Private companies and groups of individuals without a visible legal entity or formal constitution have no proper place in these discussions.

Until these fundamental principles are corrected, the interests of rank and file officers will be compromised.

We will be asking the Police Federation to contribute their views on the matters contained within this article and to the Police Reform Debate.

In the meantime, what are your views? For matters that affect the rank and file officer, isn't it time the Police Federation were given equal parity to ACPO so that a balanced and collective police voice is presented?

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