Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Police Officers consider strike action?
According to Jon Gaunt of The Sun there are mutterings of strike action amongst many police officers because they are so demoralised by the state of the service and the governments refusal to honour their pay deal. Last night's Panorama showed us in no uncertain terms how much of our police officer's time is being wasted on red tape and poor management. If you missed last night's Panorama you can watch it now by clicking HERE. The program followed fellow Blogger PC Stuart Davidson, who wrote his blog under the pseudonym of PC David Copperfield. Stuart is so disheartened by the job he is doing here in the UK that he is joining the Canadian Police. He told Panorama that 50 per cent of his job is clerical, 40 per cent social work and ten per cent catching criminals.
Responding to the Interim Review of Policing published today by Sir Ronnie Flanagan, Jan Berry, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales says: "For years we have been calling for effective and integrated IT throughout the criminal justice system, including handheld devices and single data entry systems; all of which would improve communication, cut red tape and create a better working environment for police officers. "If the government genuinely want to improve the situation for frontline officers then they should put their money where their mouth is. They found ring fenced cash to introduce PCSOs. That money could have been put into better technology to tackle bureaucracy and get police officers back out on the streets."
As far as the police pay deal goes:
Speaking on behalf of the Staff Side of the Police Negotiating Board, Jan said: "Despite the increasing threat and reality of terrorist activity and the vital role police officers recently played to save life and property during the recent floods, the government is on course for an all out war with the UK’s 170,000 officers. We’re not being greedy; all we want is a fair pay deal to reflect the increasing dangers we face. "
Jan went on to say: "It’s ironic that only weeks ago, whilst addressing the Association of Chief Police Officers, Gordon Brown praised the efforts and hard work of police officers and paid tribute to the dangerous and challenging role officers today face in the fight against terrorism and cross-border crimes. He said ‘There is no greater responsibility than that which you as police officers accept… It is clear why we as a government have a duty to provide you with the support and protection to back you in what you have to do and be there for you - because you are always there for us’. Fine words Mr Brown, but the reality is a slap in the face when it comes to fair pay for the officers out there running from one job to another and facing unknown dangers and threats every day."
You can read the rest of the police federation's press release by click HERE.
I personally would not blame them for striking. Our police officers are struggling to fight through red tape and government targets every day to get the job done. Meanwhile the government are shafting them on a 28 year old agreement which ensured fair pay for police.