History of the Surrey Police Federation
Surrey Police Federation is a branch of the Police Federation of England and Wales, who are the representative body to which every police officer below the rank of Superintendent belongs. It was established by the Police Act 1919 to provide the Police with a means of bringing their views on welfare and efficiency to the notice of the government and the Police Authorities.
All the elected officials of the Police Federation must be serving Police officers. Police officers are not permitted to belong to trades unions and must not take part in politics. Under the provisions of the Police Act, the police are forbidden to take industrial action and to incite anyone to do so is a criminal offence. Police pay, allowances, pensions and conditions of service are negotiated nationally in the Police Negotiating Board, which covers the United Kingdom Police service.
The Early Years (1919 – 1939) 1919 – The Federation is born
Following a police strike in London in 1918, and subsequent trouble between an unofficial body called the National Union of Police and Prison Officers and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, the Government appointed Lord Desborough to head a Committee of Inquiry into the Police Service.
The Committee reported in June, and recommended standard conditions of service for all police forces in Great Britain. The Home Secretary was to become directly responsible for the service, and an advisory Police Council was to be appointed.
Desborough also recommended that there should be a Police Federation to represent the interests of constables, sergeants, inspectors and chief inspectors on matters affecting their welfare and efficiency.
The Government quickly accepted the Desborough Report and the pay scales he recommended. This meant a substantial improvement in police pay for most forces. It was also announced that, following the passages of the Police Act and the setting up of the Police Federation, members of the police forces would no longer be allowed to belong to a trade union, meaning the end of the Police Union. A second strike, called in defiance of the Police Act, was a failure: only on Merseyside was there a large response from the police, and rioting had to be put down by military intervention. All 2,000 strikers were dismissed.
In November 1919, the first Annual Conference of the Police Federation took place.
1920 – First meeting of the Police Council The first meetings of the Police Council of England and Wales drew up new Police Regulations which were approved by Parliament. Many local authorities strongly objected to the new powers of the Home Secretary and complained about the high level of police wages.
1921 – Standardisation of police pensions
The Police Pensions Act standardised pensions for all police forces. However, by requiring officers to serve for 30 years, instead of 26 years, for their maximum pension entitlement, in many areas conditions were worsened.
1922 – The Federation suffers its first defeat
The Home Secretary told the Joint Central Committee that a pay cut for provincial forces, as recommended by the Geddes Committee on Public Expenditure, could only be avoided by savings in other areas. It was agreed that there should be: a cut in rent allowances and the abolition of tax refunds on them; a ‘levy’ of 2.5% of pay; reductions in plain clothes and subsistence allowance; overtime was to start after nine hours duty instead of eight. The ‘levy’ was considered a temporary measure.
The agreement at the Police Council split the JCC and aroused bitter protests from branch boards. It was a major blow to confidence in the new Federation.
1923 – Desborough under threat
The levy was renewed for another year. In July, the Government yielded to pressure from the local authorities and reconvened Lord Desborough’s Committee to reconsider the pay scales it had drawn up in 1919.
1924 – Desborough maintains pay standards
Desborough reported that the Committee saw no reason to alter police pay, saying that it was not the right time for “disturbing an agreement come to so recently”.
1925 – Pension contributions are doubled
Following disagreement at the Police Council, a Committee under Lord Lee recommended that the deductions from pay and rent allowances should be ended, but that pension contributions should be doubled to 5%.
1926 – Police work during the General Strike is recognised
The year of the General Strike saw the Times newspaper set up a National Police Fund, in response to public’s gratitude for the work of the service.
1927 – Police given more rights in disciplinary action
The Police (Appeals) Act gave members of the police service a limited right of appeal against disciplinary decisions.
1928 – The Federation faces collapse
The JCC was unable to find a secretary after Station Sergeant Berry resigned because there were no official facilities. After much argument, the Home Secretary agreed to an annual grant of £300 a year to cover all Federation expenses, and agreed that the JCC Secretary, although not a full-time Federation official, would be given ‘every facility’ to do the work.
1930 – A National Police College is proposed
The Police Council convened, for the first time since 1925, to discuss the Home Office proposal for a National Police College to train the higher ranks. The scheme was accepted by all bodies represented on the Police Council, but was abandoned because of the economic crisis the following year.
1931 – The Federation gains a full-time official, but faces pay cuts
The Home Office agreed that the new JCC Secretary, Constable Albert Goodsall of the Metropolitan Police, should be the first full-time official of the Federation.
The May Committee on National Expenditure recommended a cut of 12.5% in police pay as part of general cuts in public spending, phased over two years. May also recommended the abolition of the right to retire on ‘half pay’ pensions after 25 years’ service.
A sub-committee of the Police Council recommended that there should be no change in pensionable pay, but that there should be ‘temporary deduction’. The sub-committee was divided on the pensions issue, but a majority proposed that the pay of new entrants should be reduced.
The Government decided to reduce police pay by 10% in two instalments of 5%, taking into account the reduction in police pay when pension contributions were increased in 1925.
The Federation held a series of mass meetings of the membership to protest against the pay cuts.
1932 – Two pay scales are introduced, and open meetings are banned
A Committee, under Sir George Higgins, recommended that the pay of new entrants to the police should be lower than the pay of existing officers. The Government accepted the report and two scales of pay, ‘A’ for existing officers and ‘B’ for recruits, were introduced.
Lord Trenchard, the Metropolitan Commissioner, persuaded the Home Secretary to ban the Federation from holding Open Meetings, on the grounds that they were being used to make protests against Government policy.
The JCC submitted a resolution to the Home Secretary which drew attention to ‘dissatisfaction in the Force’.
1933 – The Federation comes under fire from Metropolitan Commissioner
Lord Trenchard’s Annual Report for 1932 contained a strong attack on the Metropolitan Branch Boards, accusing them of attempting to stir-up discontent in the force and of issuing a steady stream of propaganda against his policies.
The Commissioner’s Report also contained his proposals for a Metropolitan Police College, which would train bright young officers and recruit others from public schools and universities. After graduating from the college, the students would be given the rank of Junior Station Inspectors.
A scheme to recruit constables on ten-year contracts in the Metropolitan Police was announced. These officers would not qualify for promotion or permanent appointments, but would be paid a gratuity on completing their engagement.
The Trenchard proposals were embodied in the Metropolitan Police Act of 1933, and amongst other provisions, Metropolitan chief inspectors were taken out of membership of the Police Federation.
1934 – Pay cuts averted
The 10% pay ‘cut’ was reduced by one-half (and abolished altogether the following year).
Wartime and Beyond (1945 – 1959)
1939 – World War Two impacts on the service With the outbreak of war, the right of police officers to retire on pension was suspended, and they were classed as a reserved occupation. Thousands of officers who were military reservists were called up and their places were taken by temporary police officers, members of the wartime Police Auxiliary Service.
1940 – First (temporary) pay rise since 1919
For the first time since Desborough, police pay was increased, thanks to a five shillings a week supplementary payment to take into account wartime inflation, plus a war duty allowance of three shillings in lieu of overtime. This only applied to men receiving less that £5 a week.
1941 – JCC Chairman resigns
A Committee, under Lord Snell, reported that the pensions of police widows and the allowances paid to dependent children should be increased, provided that the pension contribution was increased to 7%. The Federation opposed any increase in contributions and the Snell Report was shelved. The JCC Chairman, Inspector Strangeways, resigned after being censured for supporting increased contributions.
1943 – Open meetings are restored
The ban on Open Meetings, imposed in 1932, was lifted.
1944 – Strained relations with the Home Office
After a long period of strained relations between the Federation and the wartime Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison, the entire JCC was summoned to the Home Office where they were told they were entitled to submit representations. However if Morrison refused their requests, it was their job to justify his decisions to their membership, not to continue to press their claims.
1945 – Pay Scale B is abolished
‘Scale B’, the lower pay scale for post-1932 recruits, was abolished. Police pay was formally increased for the first time since 1919.
1946 – Married women are allowed to service in the police
The ban on married women serving in the police service was lifted.
1947 – Rent allowances are increased
The Report of the Police Council Committee on Rent Allowances recommended that the rent allowance should be high enough to reimburse the reasonable rent and rates of all members occupying unfurnished rent property. New maximum allowances of 30 shillings for the provinces and 35 shillings for London were recommended, and these proposals were accepted by the Government. The system by which police authorities paid a compensatory grant in respect of income tax on rent allowances was also introduced.
1948 – National Police College opens
The National Police College was established, offering higher training for serving officers. Hendon Police College had closed in 1939, and had not been reopened.
A ‘London Allowance’ was introduced for the first time, starting at £10 a year for constables.
1949 – Oaksey Report part 1 launched
The Oaksey Committee of Inquiry into the Police Service published its First Report after a lengthy examination of pay and conditions of service. Oaksey recommended a modest pay increase, conditional upon police officers agreeing to ‘average’; i.e. to have their pensions based on the their average pensionable pay over the last three years of their service.
The Oaksey recommendations came as a major disappointment and did nothing to solve the great post-war shortage of police officers, caused because police pay continued to lag behind rates available in other areas.
1950 – Oaskey Part 2 recommends a new Police Council
Part Two of the Oaksey Report recommended that the advisory Police Council should be replaced by a new body, the Police Council for Great Britain, which would act as a proper negotiating body. There would be power to reach agreement, subject to the approval of the Home Secretary, and facilities for arbitration in the event of a dispute (except on pensions).
Oaksey also recommended that for the first time the Federation should be permitted to collect voluntary subscriptions from its members.
1951 – First arbitration pay award
The first ‘arbitration’ award of police pay was made by Sir Malcolm Trustram Eve, who sat with two assessors to hear the submissions of the Police Federation and the police authorities, after the Police Council failed to reach agreement. This is widely regarded as a forerunner of the pattern which would emerge under the new Police Council.
1952 – The Federation gets a new constitution
The Report of the Police Council Committee on Representative Organisations and Negotiating Machinery was published. This set out the constitution of the Police Federation, and gave policewomen associate status, although without voting rights.
The Report set out the conditions for collecting contributions to the Federation, and the uses to which the money could, or could not, be put. There was a complete ban on using the funds for political or trade union purposes. The Report also contained a draft constitution for the Police Council for Great Britain.
1953 – The New Police Council meets for the first time
The first meeting of the Police Council for Great Britain took place in November. Amongst the agreements reached at this meeting was an 8% pay increase and the London Allowance was doubled to £20 a year (a decision which caused much argument within the Federation).
1955 – The Federation collects subscriptions and appoints first Parliamentary adviser
The Federation was first allowed to collect subscriptions of threepence a week. 99% of eligible members contributed.
The standard working week was reduced from 48 hours to 40 hours.
James Callaghan MP was appointed the Federation’s first Consultant and Adviser. He was principally responsible for negotiations during his first five years in the post.
The first hearing before the new Police Arbitration Tribunal resulted in a major pay increase. The Tribunal recommended that the award be backdated, but the Government argued that there was no legal power to do so. Callaghan and the Federation organised a Parliamentary campaign, and the Government gave way, passing legislation enabling the back pay to be granted.
1956 – The Federation torn over London rate of pay
The JCC’s refusal to support the Metropolitan Branch Board case for a London rate of pay led to bitter arguments that threaten to split the Federation.
An improved widows’ pension scheme was also introduced.
1957 – Rent allowances increase, and the Federation publishes its first Newsletter
The Police Council concluded an important agreement on rent allowances. This recognised the position of owner-occupiers and introduced the system of assessments of rental values by district valuers. The maximum limits were increased to 42 shillings and sixpence a week in the provinces and 52 and six in London.
The Federation published its first journal, The Newsletter.
1958 – Lump sum pensions are introduced
Agreement was reached on a scheme for voluntary commutation of a portion of a police pension in exchange for a lump sum payable on retirement. Originally this was only for officers ‘in good health’.
The first standardised competitive exams were held by the Police Examination Board.
1959 – Policewomen finally become full members of the Federation
The Police Federation Act of 1959 granted full membership of the Police Federation to policewomen and restored membership to chief inspectors of the Metropolitan Police.
Public anxiety over cases of police corruption and the investigation of complaints led to the appointment of a Royal Commission to examine these subjects.
Strenuous efforts by James Callaghan let to the Commission being asked to examine the broad principles governing the pay of a constable. This decision was fiercely opposed by the police authorities.
Sixties and Seventies (1960 – 1979)
1960 – Willink increases pay by up to 30%
The Royal Commission, led by Sir Henry Willink, recommended that the pay of a police constable should be increased by a maximum of 30%, bringing the pay of a PC with 17 years’ service to £970 a year. The recommendation was accepted by the Government, and similar increases were negotiated for ranks above constable.
1962 – Willink pay standards are protected
The first Special Course was held at the Police College, designed for promising young officers who had done well in the national promotion examinations.
After completion of the course, they were to spend 12 months as sergeants before being promoted to inspector. The scheme had the general support of the Federation.
The Second Part of the Willink Report recommended new procedures for investigating complaints against the police, the amalgamation of very small police forces, the inclusion of magistrates on police authorities and the abolition of the powers of watch committees to discipline and promote police officers.
The Police Council reached agreement on a system of biennial reviews of police pay, intended to uphold the standards of pay set out by the Willink Royal Commission.
1963 – The working week is reduced
The working week was further reduced to 42 hours.
1964 – The Police Advisory Board is established
The Police Act implemented most of the recommendations of the Willink Report. It also gave statutory authority to the Police Council and updated the legislation on the Police Federation.
The Police Advisory Board was established to deal with professional matters.
The Federation clashed with the Government over its refusal to extend the lump sum payable to the widows of officers killed on duty to those who had died accidentally whilst trying to make an arrest.
Callaghan initiated a cross-party debate, and the Government was forced to give way.
The right to commute part of their pensions was extended to all officers retiring on full or ill-health pensions.
1965 – The Federation opposes the abolition of capital punishment
The Federation produced a document called The Problem that claimed that existing levels of police pay were insufficient to attract and retain officers and called for substantial increases in pay, with more for undermanned forces. The Official Side rejected the claim and it was referred to arbitration.
The Federation waged a concerted, but ultimately unsuccessful, campaign to prevent the abolition of capital punishment.
1966 – The Federation supports force amalgamations
The Police Arbitration Tribunal rejected the Federation’s claim for higher pay and under-manning allowances, upholding more modest proposals by the Official Side. The new Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins, invited the Federation to join the Police Advisory Board working parties to investigate Manpower Equipment and Efficiency.
Jenkins announced a surprise scheme for amalgamations of police forces, aimed at reducing the number of separate forces from 125 to 40, supported by the Federation.
Eldon Griffiths MP replaced James Callaghan, now Chancellor of the Exchequer, as Parliamentary Consultant.
The Government announced a total pay freeze for 12 months, as part of a package designed to deal with the economic crisis. The police were partly exempted, and their pay was only frozen for six months.
1967 – The Federation clashes with former adviser
The reports of the three Police Advisory Board Working Parties on Manpower, Equipment and Efficiency were published, including recommendations for more civilianisation. Unit beat policing and ‘Panda’ schemes were endorsed as ways of making better use of scarce manpower.
A Graduate Entry Scheme was introduced to try and attract better-educated recruits to the service.
James Callaghan resigned as Chancellor following the devaluation of the pound, and became Home Secretary. He immediately angered the Federation by vetoing Police Council agreements to award under-manning allowances to several forces. He also rejected proposals to improve police uniforms because of the costs involved and overrode the recommendation of the PAB Working Party to abolish numerals on police uniforms.
1968 – POLICE magazine is launched
The 40 hour week was agreed, and was to come into effect on 1 September 1970. The Federation replaced The Newsletter with a new monthly magazine:
POLICE. 1969 – The Federation moves to Surbiton
In its golden jubilee year, the Federation bought its own headquarters in Surbiton.
The Police Federation joined the European Union of Police Association (UIPA), the first external body to which it was allowed to affiliate. The Federation left the UIPA in 1992.
1970 – The Equal Pay Act brings full pay to women officers
The Equal Pay Act required that women police officers should receive the same pay as their male colleagues. Previously they had received 90% of the men’s pay.
A crisis in police manpower forced the authorities to concede an interim pay increase, but this was not enough to stem the wastage of experienced officers, nor to attract recruits in the numbers required.
1971 – The police struggle to maintain pay standards
Inflation and manpower shortages continued to dominate police negotiations. The largest ever negotiated increase in pay at the beginning of the year had to be followed by a further interim award to maintain pay standards.
1972 – Pension scheme overhauled
A major review of the police pension scheme brought improvements to the benefits payable to widows and children and contributions went up by 7%. The three year ‘averaging’ introduced in 1949 was reduced to one year. The Government overruled Federation objections to plans to further re-organise police forces to make boundaries coincide with the new local government districts to be set up in 1974.
1973 – The Federation supports London pay claims
The JCC, after years of opposition to the claims for the London Forces, agreed to support a claim for a £500 a year non-pensionable allowance. An allowance of £204 was agreed, following the Report of the Government’s Pay Board the following year.
1974 – The Police Council again investigates pay scales
The Police Council set up a joint working party to conduct a complete examination of police pay. The police service was reorganised into 43 forces in England and Wales, with six provincial metropolitan forces.
1975 – Policewomen to compete equally with men
Following the Joint Report of the Police Council Working Party, there was a very substantial increase in police pay. The Sex Discrimination Act required the police to abolish separate establishments, departments and career structures for women and insisted that they be fully integrated into the Service. For the first time, male and female officers competed on equal terms for entry, promotion and transfers, and over the next few years, the number of women officers doubled.
1976 – The Federation walks out of the Police Council
Following a dispute over police pay, the Police Federation of England and Wales and the Northern Ireland Police Federation walked out of the Police Council. The Home Secretary rejected a plea from the Federation for direct negotiations on pay. Instead he offered an independent inquiry into representative organisations and negotiating machinery for the police. Branch boards began to ballot their members on the question of the right to strike. All forces which held ballots recorded majorities in favour of this right. The Police Complaints Act set up an independent Police Complaints Board to oversee the public’s grievances.
1977 – The Government is forced to back down
The Home Secretary used his powers to impose a 5% increase in police pay. At Conference, he was received by the delegates in total silence, as part of a planned demonstration of no confidence in the Government. Conference decided to press for the Federation to become a ‘free association’ and for the police to have the right to strike. The Federation launched a public relations campaign in favour of a substantial pay increase, which attracted widespread public support. Addressing the annual meeting of the Metropolitan Branch Boards, the Home Secretary was shouted down by a packed audience of angry police officers. Soon afterwards he announced that Lord Edmund-Davies would head an independent inquiry into police pay and that the Government would accept its findings.
1978 – Edmund-Davies Report leads to large pay increase
The Edmund-Davies Report announced a substantial increase in police pay, which included an unspecified amount to take account of the absence of the right to strike. The report also proposed linking future pay rises to an index of all non-manual workers. The Government accepted the findings, but insisted on staging the pay increases over two years. The Committee also proposed replacing the Police Council with a Police Negotiating Board with an independent chairman and secretariat, and with the inclusion of magistrates on the official side. Edmund-Davies further recommended that each force (except the Metropolitan) should set up Joint Negotiating and Consultative Committees consisting of management and police staff associations, together with liaison committees representing the staff associations and the police authority At a Special Conference, the Federation accepted the Edmund-Davies Report and abandoned the policy of seeking ‘free association’ and the right to strike.
1979 – Edmund-Davies is implemented in full
Following the Conservative victory in the General Election, the new Government immediately implemented the Edmund-Davies award in full, and pledged itself to honouring the pay standards in the future. Our Recent History (1980 – 2006)
1980 – The ‘sus’ laws are repealed
The Criminal Justice Act abolished the long-established offence of ‘suspicious person loitering’, otherwise known as the ‘sus’ laws. Many groups had petitioned for their repeal, claiming that they were used by police to discriminate against members of the black community.
To compensate, the Act strengthened the law on attempts to commit crime. 1981 – Mass rioting ruins police/community relations Unprecedented mass urban rioting broke out in inner cities across the country, notably in Brixton, Toxeth, Moss Side and Handsworth, and marked a serious deterioration in community relations. The riots, and the police’s lack of adequate training and defensive equipment, led to intense lobbying by the Federation to ensure police officers were better protected.
1983 – PACE establishes a new Police Complaints Authority
The Police and Criminal Evidence Act increased stop and search powers and made the recording of all stops compulsory, introduced the mandatory recording of interviews and established a new Police Complaints Authority. The Police Training Council announced changes to the training of new police recruits, in the light of the Scarman report into the Brixton riots, which found the situation had been exacerbated by younger, inexperienced officer.
1984 – The miners’ strike leads to further deterioration in community relations
The miners’ strike saw the greatest concentration of police strength ever deployed over an extended period, and community relations continued to worsen. The Federation secured an amendment to the PACE Act 1983, allowing police officers the right to legal representation in serious disciplinary cases.
1985 – The CPS is established
Major rioting again broke out in inner cities, culminating with the murder of PC Keith Blakelock on the Broadwater Farm estate in North London. The Prosecution of Offences Act led to the establishment of the Crown Prosecution Service.
1986 – The Home Secretary rejects a PNB settlement on pensions
Douglas Hurd refused to uphold a PNB decision to improve widows’ pensions. The decision not to award widows one-third of their late husbands’ pensions, replacing the fixed sum they currently received, was the first time the Home Secretary refused to ratify a freely negotiated PNB settlement.
1987 – Automatic guns are banned
Partly in response to the Hungerford Massacre, where 14 people, including a police officer, were murdered, the possession of automatic and semi-automatic weapons was banned by Parliament.
1989 – The rent allowance is replaced
The rent allowance was abolished for new recruits, and they instead received a new housing allowance worth two-thirds of its predecessor. Michael Shersby MP replaced Eldon Griffiths as Parliamentary Adviser.
1991 – The Police Federation updates the ‘Nine Points of the Law’
The Police Federation published The Policing Agenda, supported by the Scottish and Northern Irish Federations. It looked at key areas affecting the police, such as manpower and resources, the criminal justice system and police powers and duties. It also set out an updated version of Sir Robert Peel’s ‘Nine Points of the Law’, including a call for a Royal Commission on Policing.
1992 – Ken Clarke announces ‘independent’ inquiry into police pay
The Home Secretary Kenneth Clarke announced an inquiry into pay and conditions in his speech at the Federation’s Annual Conference. It was to be a root and branch review of the entire pay structure, and it planned to sweep away the principles of a national rate of pay and the uniformity of pay between officers of the same rank and length of service. The staff associations were not involved with the appointment to the Inquiry, as they had been with Edmund-Davies, and they feared the worse. Sir Patrick Sheehy, head of British American Tobacco, was chosen to lead the inquiry.
1993 – The Federation rejects the Sheehy Report, and the Government backs down
The Sheehy Report made clear that the Inquiry did not consider policing to be a unique occupation, and recommended a reduction of police numbers, a £2,000 cut to the constable’s starting pay, the abolition of the housing allowance and a reduced rank structure.
New recruits were to join on a fixed 10 year contract, renewable at the chief officer’s discretion for five year periods, and they would only be eligible to a full pension after 40 years’ service. It also abolished uniform incremental scales in favour of a matrix based on an evaluation of the roles, responsibilities and performance of individual officers. Future pay increases would be based on the pay of non-manual private sector workers, and one-third of each increase would be performance-related.
The Federation immediately rejected the report, and launched a massive ‘Say No to Sheehy’ campaign, starting with an open meeting in Wembley Arena attended by 23,000 off-duty officers. Michael Howard, who had recently replaced Ken Clarke, rejected the vast majority of Sheehy, but he did abolish the housing allowance, and linked future pay increases on an index of non-manual private sector pay settlements.
1995 – Police and Magistrates’ Court Act changes the structure of the police authorities
The Police and Magistrates’ Court Act came into effect, which changed the way the police authorities were structured, allowed for the election of independent members and made chief constables responsible for their own budgets.
1996 – First Bravery Awards
The first Police Bravery Awards were given, and Kevin Balcombe of West Mercia was the first national winner. Following the Dunblane Massacre, the Federation campaigned, with partial success, for a total ban on handguns.
1998 – The murder of Stephen Lawrence turns a spotlight on the police
The murder of Stephen Lawrence in south London brought the issue of ‘institutionalised racism’ in the Metropolitan Police Service in particular (and the service as a whole) into the media spotlight. The subsequent Inquiry turned from the examination of a murder investigation into a ‘trial’ of the entire service.
1999 – Far-reaching changes to the Conditions of Service
Changes to the Conditions of Service proposed by the Official Side, including the abolition of the plain clothes allowance, the detectives’ expenses allowance and the gratuity for searching and fingerprinting dead bodies, went to the PAT after Staff Side claimed the marginal savings made would be far outweighed by the negative effects on operational efficiency, goodwill, morale and service delivery.
Much of the Staff Side’s demands were upheld, although the detectives’ expenses allowance was ended, and most of proposed changes to the dog handlers’ allowance were granted. New disciplinary measures, aimed at eradicating corruption from the service, came into force after lengthy negotiations with ACPO and the Home Office. The criminal standard of proof in disciplinary hearings was replaced by the balance of probabilities, and a ‘fast-track’ procedure was introduced for those charged with the most serious offences, and for those whose guilt was thought to be ‘self-evident’.
2000 – Extra funding released to counter serious undermanning
After years of declining police numbers, the Government announced plans to recruit an extra 9,000 officers over the next three years, after considerable lobbying by the Federation. The London Allowance was increased to £3,327 for new recruits and those who joined the service after 1 September 2004 – i.e., those who did not receive a housing allowance.
At Conference, the Federation repeated its call for a Royal Commission into policing, noting the huge changes to the service 40 years after the Willink Report.
2001 – South-East Regional Allowances introduced
A new regional allowance of £2,000 p.a. was introduced for all new recruits and rejoiners to Thames Valley, Essex, Surrey, Kent and Hertfordshire forces, to try and prevent a drain of local recruits to the London forces. Those in Bedfordshire, Hampshire and Sussex were to receive £1,000 p.a. However, plans to roll out regional allowances designed to reflect local labour conditions across the whole of the country were rejected at tribunal. The constitutions of the PNB and the PAB were finalised: the Full Board would now discuss pension matters, the numbers of each side were reduced to 22 and the Home Secretary was given the power, in matters of national importance, to refer issues for discussion and to set deadlines on negotiations. Government plans to merge the PNB and PAB were shelved, but they were to be closer links between the two, and they were to meet at the same venue on the same day. The ranks of Chief Superintendent, Deputy Chief Constable and Deputy Assistant Constable, which had been abolished in 1994, were reinstated.
2002 – The Federation defeats the Government
over plans for ‘reform’ David Blunkett, the new Home Secretary, unveiled a White Paper on Police Reform at the end of 2001. Whilst the Federation supported some of the planned measures, such as shorter pay scales, bonus payments for priority staff and a scheme to help those with 30 years’ or more service to remain in the force, it was staunchly opposed to proposed cuts in overtime pay, changes to duty rosters and sickness and ill-health pension arrangements, and the abolition of the plain clothes and the subsistence, lodging and refreshment allowances.
The Federation conducted a ballot on the White Paper: over 70% of the membership participated, rejected the proposals by a majority of 10:1. The vote was followed by a mass ‘Bobby Lobby’ on Parliament, when more than 10,000 off-duty officers lined the streets of Westminster in an attempt to lobby their MP. That day the Prime Minister announced that the Government was prepared to re-open negotiations with the Federation, and David Blunkett later admitted at Conference that his original stance had been wrong.
A new agreement was eventually accepted by the Federation, which included new short pay scales for the federated ranks, a new competence-related threshold payments scheme, more flexible working patterns, the rationalisation of allowances and a new scheme to encourage officers to stay on for more than 30 years. The Police Reform Act introduced Police Community Support Officers to the streets, and announced the creation of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, to start work in 2004.
2004 – First National Memorial Day
3 October 2004 marked the first National Police Memorial Day, with a service in St Paul’s Cathedral to honour all 4,000 officers who had lost their lives in the line of duty. The Federation bought land for a new purpose-built headquarters in Leatherhead, after the offices in Surbiton, occupied for 35 years, were no longer fit for purpose.
2005 – The Government proposes new ‘superforces’
A Home Officer report, ‘Closing the Gap’, claimed that the structure of the 43 police forces was no longer adequate, and recommended that smaller forces should be amalgamated. The plans prompted widespread anger and criticism, and the following year, after considerable wrangling and expense, John Reid, the third Home Secretary in two years, announced that there would be no changes to the existing structure.
2006 – Police pay comes under threat
At the beginning of the 2006 pay review, the Official Side announced plans to revise the pay indexing system that had stood for almost 30 years, but provided to alternative arrangement. After many months of stalemate, the Staff Side referred their 3% claim, based on the index, to arbitration, at which point Official Side tabled, without explanation, a 2.2% rise. The PAT upheld the 3%, and condemned Official Side’s failure to provide a concrete alternative. The Home Secretary had hinted that he would not uphold a decision of more than 2.2%, but immediately ratified the increase after the Federation’s vociferous ‘Fair Pay’ campaign.
The Government then announced a review of police pay by Sir Clive Booth to “consider the options for replacing the current arrangements for determining changes to police pay.” A new 35-year pension scheme finally came into effect, after seven years’ negotiation. Contributions were set at 9.5%, and the pension was payable from 55 or deferrable until 65. The maximum pension was half of the final salary with a lump sum of 4x the pension, and it was also payable to unmarried partners as well as spouses and civil partners. The minimum recruitment age was lowered from 18 years 6 months to 18 years.