Friday, 8 February 2008

The Police Federation respond to the Flanagan Report.

The following is a press release from the Chairman of the Police Federation, Jan Berry, in response to the publishing of the Flanagan Report:

"There is much in the report to be welcomed, as collectively many of the recommendations have the potential to release significant numbers of police officers back onto the street, and return some healthy common sense into policing.

"The recommendations would also help restore police officers' discretion; something this government has been eroding through the imposition of nationally set targets.

"Whilst we must be accountable for our actions, recommendations to overhaul crime recording, stop and account, RIPA and rationalise stop and search bureaucracy is to be applauded.

"Cutting central targets will also allow police officers to deliver the type of policing that local communities want, and will eliminate the ridiculous arrests that officers are often compelled to make to satisfy Home Office diktats.

"Rationalising the governance process will also ensure that we don't end up with a top heavy police service, with more people deciding what we should be doing, than numbers available to actually deliver.

"However, as is often the case with reports of this magnitude, the devil is in the detail. There is an assumption that the workforce modernisation programme, advocating a mix of police and support staff in operational roles, provides greater efficiencies, flexibility and resilience. It is premature to reach such a conclusion as the demonstration sites are not due to commence until spring and there has been no evaluation. This government has a tendency of declaring pilots a success as soon as they launch them. This report assumes they are a success before they have even started.

"I don't dispute that we have become a 'risk averse' service. Perhaps if officers received better ongoing training and there was less of a blame culture and or a witch hunt if they make genuine mistakes or errors, then the 'risk aversion' trend may just turn."


David-Barfield said...

Thank you for this post Steve. I had not seen in the newspapers this press release on the Flanagan Report, made by the Chairman of the Police Federation, Jan Berry. She is a very bright young lady, very rational, very lucid- totally different from the sleep inducing cliché machines who try to speak for some other Trade Unions. I think it is mainly her own personal insight, in the last paragraph, when she talks about witch hunts and blame culture that have made the lives of the ordinary police officer a nightmare. This was part of the Inquisition of Political Correctness established by the Blairs. Gordon Brown has to clear away this continental nonsense as well.

David Davis, to his credit had been previously advocating these reforms. What is impressive is that Gordon Brown has been able to jettison so much party dogma and to disturb so many vested interests to move to occupy the same ground.

If there are to be redundancies, they should be from all the Police Inspectors who made themselves office managers in the bloated years and isolated from all true policing, turned the police force into a neutered social service in the model prescribed by their political masters.

Bloggers like myself with strong police connections are delighted with the changes. Like Jan Berry, though, we wait to see whether Gordon brown can deliver.

Daily Referendum said...

You are welcome David.

I always pay keen interest to the police federation press releases, it's the only way to find out the true state of the force. I just hope they can win the legal challenge to have their pay arbitration honoured.