11 March 2022
The findings of the State of Policing report by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, Sir Tom Winsor, reflect outcomes of research undertaken by the Police Federation of England and Wales in regard to improving policing for our members and the public.
Mr Winsor identifies that total demand and public expectations cannot be met without sufficient funding. The PFEW Pay Campaign seeks to reset police-Government relations and fight for a fairer pay system that acknowledges the tremendous efforts of police officers who risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe, and considers the extra pressure of increased inflation on living costs.
PFEW echoes disappointment that the Royal Commission on the Criminal Justice System has not yet been established, despite commitment by the Government to conclude this more than two years ago. PFEW has campaigned for more than 20 years for Government to undertake a detailed review into all aspects of policing; including how to deliver the service, organisational structure, funding and importantly, public expectations.
The 43-force model has long been seen by PFEW as outdated, not necessarily serving the needs of the public effectively. However, while there is plenty of evidence to show that the current way of working is not necessarily fit for purpose, the Police Federation believe this is primarily a result of three key areas never having been satisfactorily resolved; namely, National Procurement, the Current Funding Model and the Standardisation of IT solutions.
The report also acknowledges that one area of policing that does not need reforming is that of the outstanding bravery shown by police officers up and down the country every day. PFEW is pleased to see this recognised; police officers deserve the trust and admiration of the public, as stated in the report: ‘Police officers – be they regular, paid officers of volunteer, special constables – deserve our profound gratitude for their courage and commitment.’
With demand and population increases and austerity funding issues since 2010, it becomes harder for officers and forces across the country to protect the public. Despite the Uplift Programme, the state of policing numbers is still bleak, with the uplift at its completion only replacing 20,000 officers, after 21,000 officers were cut. This additionally does not take into account leavers and retirees.
PFEW will continue to fight for fairness, to deliver a truly effective police service across England and Wales.