Police Federation

'The National Secretary: why I'm fighting for fairness in terms of remuneration and working conditions'

21 May 2024


Every day, police officers are putting themselves in difficult situations to protect the public and I know first-hand how challenging this can be and how little we are celebrated for that work. In my role as National Secretary, I am more determined than ever that you should have a representative body that you can be proud of, that listens and learns.

We are a unique organisation that requires a balance of professional management and together with the CEO, who aims to professionalise the Federation and make us fit for the future, the Chair, who promotes membership with government and externally, myself who negotiates for the best possible terms and conditions for you, and the board, I am confident we will make the changes you deserve.

I began my service in the North of Scotland experiencing a rural policing setting as a special constable, I was then successful in joining Strathclyde police in the mid 1990s, where I was exposed to increased demands and dealing with life and death situations on a daily basis. In the early 2000s, I transferred to South Wales Police where I was predominantly on the front line. Over my years of service, I have had the privilege and task of being a tutor constable, officer safety trainer, response and neighbourhood officer and as a supervisor in both city centre and more rural environments. 

While there are many reasons I have stayed in the police I, like many of you, have been subject to unacceptable conditions that have made this career difficult. I have been injured and spat on, I have been threatened with weapons, I have been subject to investigations and complained about, I have experienced issues around resourcing and had my terms and conditions eroded which ultimately have affected my work and home life. We have all experienced the dangerous side of being in the police.

I joined the Federation when I observed colleagues receiving inappropriate treatment from those within the organisation and the service as a whole, I wanted to make sure that wherever possible I intervened where that was happening. That was my catalyst. I have held local Federation positions working all hours to represent you where it matters most – performance, employment or management matters - and being the critical voice of the national Federation when needed.

I am privileged to hold the position I hold today. I am proud to be able to deliver the reality that you face, and that I have faced to government, stakeholders, management and others to hold them accountable. I understand that you need support from your Federation and that the balance has been wrong for some time. This is a message I champion daily.

Over the coming weeks and months, I will be writing to members on a number of different topics, starting with the police pay mechanism including information on our consultation forums, the scheduled review of allowances for 2024 and reforms to the conduct regulations. We will also be sharing the latest news on pensions within our Federation Matters newsletter for members and on our website. If there are additional items you wish to see included moving forward then please let your local branch know, they will feed into me directly.

To make any long-lasting change, there will be obstacles to overcome, and there will be many more ahead. That said, whenever I have faced dark times operationally, we have always pulled each other through.

The only way we are going to make things better is to face our failings, address them, and build something more professional. That job has started, and we will continue to work with you to create positive change.

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