21 November 2019
The National Chair of the Police Federation has said a public inquiry into policing is long overdue and demanded an end to what he called the “postcode lottery of funding” for police forces.
During a keynote speech at the Police Federation of England and Wales’ Centenary event in the Methodist Hall Westminster, London, John Apter questioned the fairness of the current funding formula and said it was time for an inquiry into a new model for policing.
During a wide-ranging speech, the National Chair highlighted the current structure of 43 separate forces and asked if this was an appropriate use of resources.
Mr Apter was addressing 650 delegates at the prestigious event when he focused on the ever-increasing demands made on police officers and the effectiveness of having 43 separate forces.
He said: “It’s been almost 60 years since the last Royal Commission on policing. Much has changed during this time. In that 60 years the UK population has increased by more than 14 million people, who all need the police.
“That’s why I genuinely believe that the time has come to ask the public what they want from their police: is the current model of policing right for the next 100 years?
“We have a funding formula which sees a disparity in what people in one force area can get compared to those from another. It’s a postcode lottery of funding that is grossly unfair.”
He also pointed to recent research conducted by the Federation which revealed more than half of police officers worry about money on an almost daily basis.
The findings from the Federation's annual Pay and Morale Survey found only 36% of respondents said they had enough money to cover monthly essentials, with around one in eight admitting they have had to seek financial support to cover day to day expenses within the last year.
Mr Apter added: “We have massive increasing demands on policing and our members, to a level which is simply unsustainable.
“Only this week we published the results of the latest pay and morale survey which showed that 75% of police officers say they are worse off financially this year than last.
“There are some officers who, if it wasn’t for overtime, simply wouldn’t be able to put food on their table or pay their bills. This is shameful - this is wrong, and it must change.”
The Police Federation will also be contributing to the review being conducted by the Police Foundation.
Link to Centenary Speech by John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, at the Methodist Central Hall, London on 21 November 2019