Police Oracle 17 April 2012
Cutting the starting salary of new recruits by Â£4,000 would not make sense if the aspiration of professionalising the Police Service is to be realised, it has been claimed.
In outlining his response to the second part of Tom Winsorâ€™s review into officersâ€™ pay and conditions, Ch Supt Derek Barnett of the Superintendentsâ€™ Association said that the proposed reduction in starting salary was not a sensible option.
He also suggested that introducing compulsory severance before Mr Winsorâ€™s recommendation for voluntary severance had been tested â€œcould not be rightâ€.
In addition the President was critical about assumptions about the future landscape of policing made in Part II of the report. â€œSeveral measures rely on the assumption that there will be a new Professional Body for Policing, something that this association supports, but does not yet exist, nor has any clearly defined funding or governance arrangements,â€ he added.
While Ch Supt Barnett said he backed streamlining and reforming the Police Negotiating Board (PNB), he refused to endorse Mr Winsorâ€™s proposal to abolish it.
In addition, the President said he had â€œgrave concernsâ€ at the recommendation to introduce direct entry at superintendent level, adding that the risk to the public and the â€œimpact on command resilienceâ€ would be unacceptable.
Ch Supt Barnett was speaking after the 121 proposals in Winsor II were discussed at a PNB meeting on April 12 for the first time. He added: â€œI am conscious that the Winsor recommendations, if implemented partially or in full, have a huge potential to affect the livelihood of officers of all ranks.
â€œThey will also change significantly the balance of protection afforded to police officers in relation to their terms and conditions, and will compromise the independence of the Office of Constable. It is inconceivable that we as an association could remain silent at a time when the service demands to know where we as the senior operational leaders stand.
â€œThe 121 recommendations under consideration will affect the service in three different ways. Some will impact solely upon our members, others on colleagues within the federated or ACPO ranks alone, and many will affect the whole service.â€
Ch Supt Barnett said the recommendations contained â€œno major surprisesâ€ given that the Prime Minister had made his commitment to significant reform of the Police Service clear while he was Leader of the Opposition.
The President added: â€œLet me be quite clear, we will support any recommendation that we believe will enhance the service we provide to the public and that truly and genuinely improves and modernises the Police Service.
â€œWe do support the concept of further professionalising what is already a high performing public service that is admired and respected by the public here and worldwide.
â€œHowever, there are some recommendations that cause us considerable concern that we will not support â€“ those that will in our view seriously and disproportionately have an adverse impact upon individual police officers, increase bureaucracy, that lack any compelling evidence or robust costing, or will seriously impact upon the relationship between the police and the public we serve.â€
As previously reported on PoliceOracle.com, the Winsor recommendations are currently being considered by the PNB after being put forward by the Home Secretary.