27 June 2022
This is my first message since last month’s annual conference so I thought I would reflect on some of the issues that were discussed in Manchester.
The theme for the conference this year was Fighting for Fairness so it came as no surprise that pay and conditions and officer morale dominated most of the conversation.
Our new national chair Steve Hartshorn set the tone with his debut keynote speech and essentially challenged the Home Secretary on the Government's attitude to the police service when he asked her: “What has gone wrong?”
Steve was referring to the four Ps on which he based his presentation: Pay, Pension, Presence and Pride - the key areas into which we believe the issues facing police officers broadly fall.
He told Home Secretary Priti Patel the Police Federation expected fair pay and fair terms and conditions of service for all its members.
He told her it was not unreasonable to have long-term clarity over pensions so that people can plan for their futures with certainty.
He said Government, police leaders and the mainstream media should listen to the Police Federation and recognise it as the undisputed voice of policing.
And he drove home the message that police officers ultimately want to have pride in what they do and be treated with the respect they deserve.
It was pretty powerful stuff which resonated with the whole auditorium and was perhaps brought into sharper focus by the response from the Home Secretary who, as usual, offered little more than vague platitudes and reassurances that she was on our side.
We’ve heard it all before to be honest and Steve couldn’t have been clearer with the line which concluded his speech and which he had repeated throughout: “It’s time for change.”
We now have a new National Board and a Federation chair with a powerful mandate and clear vision of how we must all work together collectively to make our voices heard to achieve tangible, positive results for police officers.
Within the Derbyshire branch, we will be doing everything we can to support the incoming National Board members as they push for those changes so between us we can help create the modern, proactive police service that we can be proud to be a part of.
I will end with the normal reminder that the Police Federation only exists to support its members so anyone with any issues, however great or small they might seem, should not hesitate to get in touch. We are here to help and our door is always open.
As always, take care, stay safe and keep looking out for one another.