Police Federation

CEO “deeply sorry” to those members impacted by tribunal’s judgment

CEO Mukund Krishna lays out the roadmap for PFEW, announces independent review.

11 October 2023

Ian Collins and Mukund Krishna, PFEW CEO
Ian Collins and Mukund Krishna, PFEW CEO

Day two of this year’s two-day Annual Conference was opened by the CEO’s address to the members. The appointment of Mr. Mukund Krishna, the newly appointed first-ever CEO of the Federation, represents some of the organisational change, which he set out in his first speech at Annual Conference.

Setting out his background in global consultancy across five countries over 20 years, the last 15 years based in the UK in the criminal justice system, Mr Krishna said he understands the playing field of the Federation, while maintaining his independence.

As CEO, his opening remarks included an apology for not having the opportunity to get together in person this year, a consequence of the sensitive financial waters the organisation finds itself in.

Setting out why the Federation is so important, Mr Krishna highlighted the Federation’s funding provided for many thousands of police officers who have been injured or found themselves to be the subject of legal claims. Without this support, many police officers would face financial ruin and ill-health, he said.

Mr Krishna approached the financial troubles the Federation is in with a deep sense of responsibility and commitment to recognise the mistakes of the past, to learn lessons, rebuild bridges and implement the change that is needed.

He explained that the Federation has initiated a seven-point plan to address the challenges brought by the Employment Tribunal’s judgment in the pension age discrimination claim.

Mr Krishna was crystal clear about the direction PFEW must take following the tribunal’s judgment and said, “The judgment was a hammer blow to PFEW. There is no way of sugar coating the fact this was an extremely damaging judgement. There are no excuses. This was a monumental failure. And I am deeply sorry to those members who have been impacted by the decision not to challenge the Government's change in pension policy. 

“We are initiating reviews to understand what went wrong and where we could do better.

“Job number one is to make sure police officers have the best possible terms and working conditions as they continue to work relentlessly to provide safer communities. Many of the initiatives borne out of the members’ agenda are part of our strategy. They are led by the National Secretary’s office in coordination with the branches.

“Second, and also a key theme for this year’s conference, is the work we do representing our members to the wider public. You have seen and heard about our local and national boards raising awareness for policing issues with MPs, in the press and media alike. This is our public agenda led by the National Chair’s office.

“And the last piece of the jigsaw is my core area of responsibility which is the Federation agenda. This is about ensuring the Federation is in the best possible shape to support our reps and members.”

A key announcement in Mr Krishna’s members’ update speech was the announcement that the Federation is commissioning an independent review, which will be a comprehensive, top-to-bottom review that will examine the statutory basis of the organisation, its purpose, rules, funding and governance. 

The precise scope of the review, and the composition of the review panel, will be agreed by the National Board in consultation with the National Council, he said.

Mr Krishna closed the session by stressing how important are the decisions that are made today by the Federation and the impact they will have on its future. He also asked for the help of its membership in making the organisation fit for the future.

“The Police Federation is at a crossroads and the decisions taken now will have huge implications for the future of the organisation. 

“I intend to meet the current challenges head on and to usher the Police Federation into a new era of professionalism and transparency and in doing so putting the pride back into policing. I will need your help and support to do that.

“Police officers across the country are under enormous pressure. They need a strong voice and representation from a Federation that commands respect, and which leads by example. Now is the time to come together, reinstate pride in policing and, with your help, build a Federation fit for the future,” he added.

During the Q&A session, following the speech, Mr Krishna defended his position as the CEO, and he did so robustly, explaining that he is held accountable by the National Board, which is held accountable by the National Council. His role is independent and not elected which, as he explained, means he can be loyal to the membership and the organisation.

Mr Krishna said that his aim is to drive organisational change which it clearly needs and being independent is key to succeeding in this endeavour.

His vision for the future is to see the Federation as one business body, albeit with a head office and 43 regional branches, working together with a united front represented across England and Wales. “At the heart of which is honesty, openness and transparency,” Mr Krishna said.

Mr Krishna made it clear that there would be organisational changes in response to the employment tribunal, but leaner and simpler does not mean fewer services, but consistent services.

“Members will notice a positive difference – we want a standardised accreditation programme for all reps so that all members see service delivery consistent across the country wherever they are. To rebuild trust in the national Federation (trust is there for their local boards) we must stop seeing ourselves as 44 different bodies but work as one body – we need to work to get to that position,” he said.

To the members, Mr. Krishna stressed and said: “There is a lot of momentum and commitment in the organisation to change, willingness to change and a desire to be fit for the future. I will lead the organisation through the change and ensure that the Police Federation is fit for the future.” 

Watch the session back below.

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