Tag Archives: Police Federation of England and Wales

“Autumn Budget must set clear direction for police funding” asserts Police Federation chairman

Amid all the talk and speculation on what will be contained in today’s Autumn Budget, the Chancellor Philip Hammond must set clear direction for police funding to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to keep the public safe. This is the view of Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, who believes the current year-by-year approach to police budgets is inefficient and gives Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and chief constables little ability to effectively plan ahead.

“Chiefs and PCCs need to know what they’re going to get, not just next year, but in years two, three, four and five in order for them to properly plan,” said White. “The Government is already clear that policing needs to be even more efficient, but reform with at least a five-year funding strategy is needed for it to be sustainable.”

White echoed many in policing who have challenged the Government’s view that police budgets have been ‘protected’ between 2015 and 2020. “It’s all very well for politicians to say that funding is being protected, but the reality is there for all to see,” urged White. “The amount of money that police forces have to play with has gone down because inflation has gone up. It’s simple maths.”

The Police Federation’s chairman also challenged the idea that forces can simply tap in to reserves to plug the gap following recent comments made by Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Joint Summit.

Steve White

Steve White: chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales

“Of course forces have to keep something in reserve because they don’t know what’s around the corner or coming down the line in the next 12 months.”

However, White does appreciate the need for chief constables and PCCs to make clear to Government how additional funding would be spent, not just why it’s required. “There’s an opportunity for police leaders to provide a credible, evidence -based argument about why these additional resources are needed and where they would go.”

Finally, White made clear that PCCs, alongside chief constables, must challenge the Government for clear direction on police funding if it’s not forthcoming.

“If the Chancellor doesn’t set out any clear direction for police funding, PCCs and chief constables must put the pressure on Government to address this in the immediacy. If this doesn’t happen, officers and police staff will suffer with continued uncertainty and, ultimately, the public will suffer as well.”

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“Time for a full review into policing” asserts Police Federation

The Police Federation of England and Wales has called for a “long overdue” full review into policing. This subject was among a number of issues raised by the Federation in its response to the Home Affairs Select Committee following the launch of the latter’s Policing for the Future inquiry.

The Police Federation’s national chair Steve White said: “For more than a decade, we have been demanding an holistic and independent review of policing in order to properly determine what the public want and expect of their police service. While appreciating that this would need to be balanced against the reality of the fiscal policy of the Government of the day and its limitations on resources and capacity, it would, at the very least, be a starting point to ensure we have a police service that’s fit for purpose and able to focus on those issues deemed to be public priority.”

Steve White

Steve White: Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales

White continued: “If we were starting afresh today, we cannot see any logic or rationale in having this number of police forces. We maintain that a Royal Commission on Policing looking at the entire structure, function, roles and funding of the police service is long overdue. This would address the points raised and allow radical, long-term and strategic thinking rather than knee-jerk responses and tinkering based on political whim.”

In conclusion, White stated: “We need police officers to remain at the heart of policing, to retain the model of policing by consent and ensure that those tasked with protecting our communities have the support of the law, are given the appropriate protections, equipment and training to do the job and are valued, motivated and fairly rewarded.”

Commenting on a range of issues, the Police Federation highlights current and future crime trends and their implications for policing under-reported types of crime, the extent to which the police are sufficiently equipped to deal with these changing patterns of crime and other operational demands (such as mental health crisis work) and where gaps in capacity and capability are likely to lie.

Issues such as proactivity from the top of policing, equipment, training, accountability and a long-term strategy for the future of policing are also discussed in the submission, which can be seen in full on the Home Affairs Select Committee’s website.

The Committee is also looking at police funding levels, efficiency and cost-effectiveness, including the role of Police and Crime Commissioners in driving innovation and reform and the role of digital technology in policing (including take-up, risks and barriers to use).

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Officer in life-threatening Samurai sword stand-off wins national Police Bravery Award

Sergeant Stephen Brown of the Metropolitan Police Service, who tackled and disarmed a man trying to slash him with a Samurai sword, has deservedly won a prestigious national Police Bravery Award.

With only his baton and CS spray to protect himself, and on his own, Sergeant Brown found himself fighting for his life as the man repeatedly swung the sword at his face and neck while ignoring orders to put the weapon down.

When the suspect swung for the officer again, Sergeant Brown discharged CS spray into the man’s face. The officer quickly moved towards his assailant and, while the sword was in the air, struck the man’s arm with his baton three times. On the third hit the man dropped the sword and fell to the floor.

Sergeant Brown immediately jumped on top of the man and was then joined by colleagues in restraining the individual. The offender was still struggling violently before being arrested after the incident, which occurred on Christmas Eve 2012 in north London.

Earlier that evening, the offender had repeatedly stabbed a woman. After he was detained by Sergeant Brown and his colleagues, officers discovered that the bag he was carrying contained an arsenal of weapons.

National Police Bravery Award

For his diligence and skill, Sergeant Brown has won the national Police Bravery Award. He was presented with the trophy at a ceremony held in central London attended by Home Secretary Theresa May, policing minister Mike Penning and Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM in addition to other dignitaries.

Earlier in the day, Sergeant Brown joined 65 of his colleagues from 31 police forces around the country for a reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron and designed to recognise their heroic acts of bravery.

Sergeant Stephen Brown and Home Secretary Theresa May

Sergeant Stephen Brown and Home Secretary Theresa May

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The actions of Sergeant Stephen Brown are a powerful reminder of the commitment and courage that police officers bring to their role. Sergeant Brown put his own life in danger to defuse a terrifying situation. His intervention protected members of the public and may well have saved the lives of others. We should reflect on the bravery shown by all the officers nominated and that displayed by all police officers in the course of their duties each day.”

Speaking about the prestigious award, Sergeant Brown commented: “I feel overwhelmed. Other people deserve it more and I feel very honoured to have won this award. I would do exactly the same thing again and it’s what every officer would have done in that situation.”

He continued: “The man needed to be tackled there and then. The woman he had attacked was innocent and unknown to him. He needed to be stopped. This is what we do as police officers. People call it brave but it’s just part of the job.”

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “I’m constantly humbled and amazed by the selfless acts of bravery carried out by police officers on a day-to-day basis. For every act of courage and bravery recognised in the national Police Bravery Awards there are hundreds more occurring in our communities every day that go unrecognised. Each nominee is a credit to the police service and to the community they serve.”

Stephen Mann, CEO at Police Mutual, stated: “Every day, police officers across the country face incredibly difficult and dangerous situations and act with real heroism to protect the lives of others. All of the officers nominated for an award have shown great dedication to their duty and remarkable courage.”

Mann concluded: “Police Mutual is honoured to continue its sponsorship of the national Police Bravery Awards for the sixth consecutive year, and we give our sincere thanks to the men and women who keep us all safe.”

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