12 December 2022
Derbyshire Dales MP Sarah Dines was among 51 Parliamentarians who met with the Police Federation at the House of Commons this week.
The local MP, who is the Minister for Safeguarding, was updated on current campaigns including on the need for a new mechanism to decide police pay, after the Federation withdrew from the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) last year.
Following the event, which was one of the largest MP engagements the Federation has carried out in recent years, Ms Dines thanked her hosts on Twitter, adding: “It is important to update Parliamentarians.”
Tony Wetton, chair of Derbyshire Police Federation, said: “I am really pleased that Sarah took the time to meet with Federation officials and to hear about the issues that our colleagues are facing on the frontlines. I hope she can take our members concerns on fair pay, time limits for misconduct investigations and freeing us up from red tape to the heart of Government.
“It will be good to see her get behind the Federation on these issues and maybe other county MPs will also offer their support.”
The event was opened by the Police Federation of England and Wales deputy chair Tiff Lynch who is also the staff association’s Parliamentary lead.
She told MPs: “We won’t leave here today without an ask: for you to spread the word among your colleagues and recognise the unique position police hold, as they continue to hold the thin blue line and service our communities 365 days a year.
“We are entering the Christmas period and it is going to be incredibly busy. Our officers are out there working extremely hard, and they are tired.
“The thin blue line is broken, and without sufficient investment in policing, officers will not be able to keep up with new technology innovations criminals use, will not be able to stretch resources to attend all crimes and, ultimately, will not be to keep our communities safe from the rise in violent crime.”
During the event, which was sponsored by Bexley and Sidcup MP Louie French, Federation representatives spoke to MPs including shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, Tom Pursglove, Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, former Home Secretary Priti Patel and former policing minister Kit Malthouse.
Other guests included members of the House of Lords and police and crime commissioners and discussions focussed on the pressures faced by police officers, the lack of investment in policing and the need for fair pay, conditions and recognition.
In addition to the #MedalsforHeroes campaign for an honorary medal that will be awarded to those who work in the emergency services killed in the line of duty, other Federation campaigns championed at the event were:
#FairPayForPolice – calling for alternative to the unjust police pay review mechanism that has impacted officers for years and been the source of disputes with successive governments. The Federation is calling for a pay rise to cover the cost of living crisis which ties into the Early Day Motion 547 tabled by Emma Lewell-Buck MP.
#SimplifyDG6 – changes to the Crown Prosecution Service guidance on disclosure has impeded justice and has seen victims of various crimes withdraw from active participation due to officers having to find at least an extra four hours to spend on redacting case material at the pre-charge stage. The Federation is lobbying the Government for amendments to the General Data Protection Regulation, Data Protection Act 2018 and the disclosure guidance itself to rectify the damaging and time-consuming problems the current legislation creates.
#TimeLimits – the Federation wants a time limit of 12 months for disciplinary proceedings being brought against officers to be introduced.
Reflecting on the event, Tiff added: “It has been a great success and we have a number of MPs willing to support us in the House of Commons moving forward. We will not stop here, and we will continue engaging with MPs.”