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Showing content with the highest reputation since 22/09/11 in Posts

  1. 14 points
    I can't believe I need to say this in order to explain myself. 1)The 1987 scheme was generous and preferential and was no small part of why I committed the best years of my life to this career. 2)It was "sold" to me at the time as bullet proof-It was protected by law. Law that supposedly could not be broken. 3)The current scheme that a new joiner joins is not the 1987 scheme. 4)The government has given notice that they will likely increase the pensionable age to 68 in the future-Entirely likely to be within the career period of an 18 year old new recruit today...If the Police Service lasts. Therefore a new joiner today at 18 etc etc. As for "welcome to the real world...." I am afraid that is insulting. If I took everything from you that you had worked for and left you naked and starving on the street I could point at those dying in the third world and say to you, "welcome to the real world" and shrug at your complaints. We live in a country where I am arguing that I should get what I was promised. But that promise can't be afforded in this country-A country where a footballer's weekly expenses would likely have me going back to quietly picking up body parts and fighting with pschopaths. Welcome to the real world? Where a single banker's yearly bonus would probably cover an officers lifetime pension? I am fed up of being told to suck this up by people who aren't in it with the rest of us, perhaps have what they were promised and consequently don't care. If the new scheme is so advantageous and preferential, why arent new officers signing up to committing that percentage of their pittance on it? I can think of a number of reasons. 60 or 68 -Thats a heavy toll on anyone. 42 years of front line duty will mean that you will likely dievery early. Many will not see their pensions. Of those that do how long must they survive to get their investment back?? Please don't quote the 1987 scheme at me again-That is gone. As for Industrial action. That doesn't always mean striking. I wouldnt refuse to respond to someones life in danger-I do that off duty anyway. There are many options and graduations of activity prior to actual total withdrawal of service. While I have contempt for this government I am still loyal to the Crown and the public. My father was in the 1987 scheme. He saw none of it. He died in service as did approximately half of the officers on his team.Where is that money now? Where is the money of all those officers who never saw a penny? As an industry where is the product of the combined financial might of all our contributions? There was no protected "fund". If HMG thought it was ok just to use it as a petty cash kitty then an obligation comes with that when the investor turns up. It's too late for me to change career direction now-It's too late for me to recover my investment. I was lied to. The law is being broken and we are being shafted royally. If "the real world" is where you just have to quietly take being lied to and stolen from and expected to keep your mouth shut out of guilt because somewhere on the planet someone else has it harder; then "the real world" needs changing because it's a sick and indecent place. Tolerance of this sort of treatment of others is unethical in itself. We haven't just lost money, we have lost life choices and years of time invested. But it's ok there is still enough cash in the economy to pay our football players and bankers and buy houses for MP's. That's the real world.
  2. 12 points
    Betrayal of trust? Following recent high profile events like Plebgate, the national industrial rights ballot and the abject failure of the Police Federation to effectively counter Winsor's review, there's a strong argument that the Police Federation of England and Wales is no longer fit for purpose. That's a view reflected by a growing number of angry, disillusioned and frustrated officers nationwide. It's something the PFEW are waking up to themselves - their recently announced 'root and branch' review recognises the fact. Press release regarding National Federation review http://tinyurl.com/bn6nj7e But, it could be that this inward soul searching will be seen by the membership as being too little, too late - especially as this much vaunted review is anticipated to take a year to unfold and longer to implement if the hierarchy deem that any change is necessary. On the frontline, officers are asking how it is that the organisation responsible for representing them has become so detached from its members. The answer lies in the Federation's national structure, which is a throw back to before the dark ages. By way of highlighting its broken structure, it's well known that the Constables, who comprise around 70% of the membership, suffer a disproportionately minuscule number of votes in any decision making processes undertaken at national level. Neither fair, representative, nor democratic.... It's also an open secret that a handful of centrally located people hold the vast majority of the power, none of them having been elected by the rank and file. They receive generous allowances and 'pension-related honoraria payments' that leave their members with the perception that although everyone is equal, some are more equal than others. The perception from those on the frontline is that it must be really difficult to fight for your members when you are not affected by what is happening to them.... But what grates most for members is being ignored, or worse, being treated like children and this is an ongoing issue. When questions are asked, they routinely go unanswered, and the recent ballot is a case in point. Even whilst the ballot was live, it wasn't widely known that a 50% + 1 voting threshold had been arbitrarily imposed, and the reasons behind that decision remain a mystery to this day. It's hard to think of any organisation, trade union, or other public or private body that imposes such restrictions on a supposedly democratic process. Looking at the voting stats throws up more questions than answers. It looks like more than 50% of officers nationwide registered to vote. That means officers took the time to engage with the process and found a computer to log on to. So, if more than 50% registered, why didn't they all vote? There were HUGE variances in some regions between those who registered and then those who eventually voted. We know FOR A FACT that there were technical issues early on - did this stop the process being effective? We may never know. We do know officers have come forward saying that, having registered, they never received their voting email, despite repeated contact with the electioneers. Given that, prior to the ballot, Federation officials were adamant that everyone who wanted to vote would get the opportunity, their silence now on this issue is baffling. Where is the transparency, scrutiny and accountability? Several recent national examples show our ballot up for the farce that it was. National elections recently secured jobs for Police Crime Commissioners who gathered as little as 8% of the popular vote. News item re PCC turnout http://tinyurl.com/9swnhqe And the civil service union has just announced that its members are to take strike action based on a ballot that only secured votes from 28% of its members. News item re Civil Service strike ballot http://tinyurl.com/cex5jsp So just why is it that we were required to achieve a 50.1% turnout? For the same reason, many suspect, that turkeys don't vote for Christmas. Obtaining industrial rights would bring with it the opportunity to join a trade union and that would sound the death knell for the Police Federation. It's hard for the national leadership to counter such cynicism, especially when they seem incapable of communicating with their members even at the most basic level. It took them a year to organise a ballot because they said it 'needed to be credible'. Criticism of the ballot has been as vociferous as it has been widespread, but the most damning verdict was delivered by the Met Fed, who openly described the ballot as 'bizarre', stating they were 'appalled'' at the National Fed's stance. Such criticism is unprecedented and some predict is the opening salvo of a civil war that could tear the organisation apart. Met Fed's criticism of National Fed http://tinyurl.com/blc96tf Records show that the PFEW is sitting on a cash pile of over £20m, but there is scant evidence of this being used to launch an effective campaign to fight the harsh realities of Winsor. Their financial records are a matter of public record and they certainly bear closer examination. How many officers know that in 2011, £1.4m of their money was spent on furnishings? What percentage of officers realise certain fed officials receive honoraria payments and 'elected officer enhancements' to their salaries - bonuses that start at £15K per annum? So how can all of this be justified if you are on the wrong end of a complaint and the fed decide they won't pay to legally represent you because you don't have more than a 50% chance of winning in their opinion? How do such bonuses sit with frontline officers having their pay cut in April, with more financial misery to follow? Police Federation accounts 2011 http://tinyurl.com/c4wmyvy Officers feel that they are effectively being held hostage because there is no alternative to the Police Federation. To access associated benefits officers HAVE TO pay voluntary subs. They then, at additional cost, get access to health care, insurances and other benefits. 99% of officers join the fed when they sign up for service. The benefits are competitively priced thanks largely to the fed's bulk buying power and the fact that when they join most officers are comparatively fit and healthy. To pull out of paying voluntary subs, for example with twenty years service, means members lose access to all the benefits that they have signed up to. Without the financial support of the federation, the fear of a malicious complaint putting an officer in court at their own expense is tangible, especially when coupled with the loss of health and life cover, which it is virtually impossible to source competitively elsewhere if you are in your forties of fifties. The fact that despite these pitfalls officers ARE withdrawing their subs should be ringing alarm bells at national HQ. Many believe that if there was ANY competition the federation would be abandoned by its members and bankrupted virtually overnight. It's a sad indictment that many now see the federation as a necessary evil, rather than their guardian angel. Officers are left with what is effectively a two tier representative body. At local level fed reps represent officers, influence management and help those who are doing an impossible job. The work of these reps is often heroic and goes largely uncredited, but the bigger picture has them, and those who rely on them, hamstrung by in-fighting and petty politics, the likes of which means that, at national level, communication is chaotic and the message mixed. On the one hand we're told individual branch boards won't share their details with each other, which means the national federation don't know who their members are, yet at the same time officers are being 'mail shot' at home as the fed desperately attempts to entice officers to take up various offers designed to plug the financial gap created by those leaving. The most current example of this confusion is the constables branch website (www.policeconstables.org). Just to officially launch it and have a link to it off the main National Federation website proved an onerous task. It was heralded as the voice of the rank and file. A chance for the majority to have their say and to be kept informed and up to date with all matters fed related. Officers were encouraged to register so the fed would finally know who their members were and so that they could share questions and ideas on the forums found there. Typically, things started well, but soon descended into farce. Though over 8,000 PCs have registered, the site has yet to trailblaze to any degree. Months and months of questions being posed and left largely unanswered by fed officials has left the site looking like a post-apocalyptic ghost town. The few posters left (there are a hard core of about ten) are treated with contempt, chastised and threatened with bans. The site is plagued with technical difficulties and its news section is so out of date as to make it a contradiction in terms. The largest ongoing joke is the insistence of fed officials from within the site that they have 'a plan'. It must be a corker of Baldrick-like cunning because it has been 'a work in progress' for nearly two years and is yet to show itself. The site is a microcosm of everything that is wrong with the Police Federation, all wrapped up in one sad, semi-abandoned bundle. This April's pay packet will bring with it the double-whammy of a pension contribution increase and the reduction in CRTP. It will be a defining moment for officers and the PFEW. Until now officers have largely only lost the opportunity to receive something that was becoming due...we've missed out on future pay rises, or the next stage of an increment rise that was on the cards. From April, for the first time, we will start to see our hard earned money being deducted at source from our pay packets. Pension contribution increase: http://tinyurl.com/c4xqglo CRTP withdrawal: http://tinyurl.com/chuathk Nationally, it isn't something PFEW have prepared officers for. It will come as a shock to many and will affect us all. There will be welfare and financial issues that will need addressing - officers should be in no doubt that this is the start of actual hardship for many. How ironic that at their time of greatest need, officers will be considering withdrawing from the Federation to try and claw back some of the cash that the Federation has allowed the government to snatch from their members. As a Post Script, it seems PFEW are not beyond being petty either. Having recently withdrawn my subs, I have been denied access to the Constable's website forums, despite the fact that even having withdrawn my voluntary subs I remain a member of the PFEW whilst I continue as a serving police officer. If that doesn't guarantee me access, then the fact that I have paid subs up to my next pay packet does. It's a small thing, but it's also indicative of an organisation perceived by some as rotten to its core. Needless to say, emails surrounding this issue have gone unanswered. There is little doubt that within the next six months events of seismic proportions will overtake the Police Federation. With voluntary redundancy ratified and live, compulsory severance on the horizon, fitness testing, reductions in pay for restricted officers, the possible introduction of A20 and a new comprehensive spending review imminent, it's beyond time for the national PFEW to clean house, draw a line and start again. Officers need their help and have done for some time. Sad indeed that whilst I remain proud of being a police officer I am ashamed and embarrassed of the organisation that is supposed to represent and protect us all.
  3. 12 points
    In my opinion anybody who volunteers needs their heads tested. my reasons being 1) No proper risk assessment 2) Not firearms trained 3) Under Winsor and if you get seriously injured you are out of a job 4) If you get injured it will effect your pension 5) You are not being financially rewarded properly 6) By not volunteering you could send a message to this government that your goodwill has gone.
  4. 10 points
    Every now and again someone throws rent and housing allowance into the mix, with a suggestion that abolishing both would somehow even things out and be fair to all. And every time it is raised I give the same answer. The only individuals who were shafted over HA were on two intakes in 1994. They were told they would be in receipt of HA only to find it withdrawn. Everyone subsequent to that knew what they were getting. It may not have been fair that HA was withdrawn, but it went around the same time the rules were relaxed on where we could and couldn't live. How many post 1994 joiners had their homes visited during the recruitment process to see if they were suitable. How many officers these days have to seek the agreement of their Chief when they want to move house? Not many, and it was in part because of those restrictions that allowances were paid. They were also paid in lieu of the fact most Forces still provided police houses. Given the fact no new joiners have received HA for nearly 20 years, those in receipt are now very much in the minority. And yet those who don't get it think it's "fair to all" if things are "evened out", and people like me are expected to take an additional 7% hit to our earnings? Well guess what. In much the same way as you all set your budgets based on what you get paid, so do I. So why should I be hit proportionately far harder than you, just because I get an allowance that all bar two 1994 intakes either get, or knew they were not getting when they started setting their budgets? For all HMG's failings, even they accept that to abolish HA would be unfair. If HMG can see it, it's about time the post '94 brigade stopped bleating about it once and for all.
  5. 10 points
    I totally understand that view. I know that this has been said before..............however..... I must say, I've enjoyed my time in the job. Got to do some stuff that I would never have been able to do, and have done some stuff that I would have had to pay to do. Having said that. I worked in IT before joining the job. I earned over £60K a year when I left with a final salary scheme. My decision to join was based on a few things, but one of them was definitely the "your employment to retirement is guaranteed, I'll get x thousand lump sum when I leave, the salary will rise to around £40K, etc., safe job, interesting days, etc.. The starting salary was well under £20K when I joined but I had a few quid from taking voluntary redundancy to tide me over for the first couple of years. While I adjusted my standard of living. The last week or so I've seen where my previous colleagues are and I've looked at what's going on in the job, and said to my other half "what was I thinking? I must have been bonkers.". I don't care what anybody says about being "promised". The pension and salary might as well have been written in stone when I joined. We knew we'd work 15 years and be on top whack. We knew we'd work x years and retire with x amount lump sum and x a year pension. That was the 'contract' and mutual 'understanding' upon which I said "Yes, you can have my services until I retire. I choose not to go into the private sector and earn z amount, and because I won't do that, you'll give me a challenging job, you will pay me x amount and I'll retire with z. Thanks." Nobody, not a single recruiter, senior officer, interviewer, HR person, FED representative, other copper, politician, or anybody said to me "be careful though, because all of that can chance on the whim of any future Government. They might decide to screw you over.". Not only did they not say it, they didn't even alude to it. It wasn't on anybody's radar because it wasn't dreamed of. I fulfilled my part of the 'contract'. I gave up certain freedoms, worked hard, did everything that was expected of me. I've been challenged, I've passed every test (apart from the skipper's exam!) that has been put in front of me. I have protected MPs, dignitaries but mostly decent, normal people. And in return since this Government has been in power I've been shown nothing but disdain, verging on hatred - all with platitudes or a veneer of smiles. I enjoy what I do, but at the end of the day, I've got bills to pay, a future to plan for and a family to provide for. I've started making some enquiries to go back into IT.........I stayed in touch with all my old colleagues, most of whom appear to be IT directors now......... It's been an expensive lesson - trusting a police force and Government. Who would have thought it all those years ago, that the latter would seriously let me down and hate me so much as to royally f**k the future that I did plan for. I was told what my future salary compensation would be. It might as well have been written in stone. "These are the pay scales in your first 15 years" is what they said. What crap. Yes, I might have got another job in IT and been sacked, or made redundant (again). But I gave up that possibility for a more certain future. A more certain future that Cameron, May and Winsor (and a cast of a few hundred) decided to make decidedly uncertain. I'd understand more if every public sector worker was treated the same, but the venom that we're being treated with makes it look personal. Very personal. Cameron hasn't just f***ed with my career, he's f***ed with my family's future. Keep pushing my old china. Because at some point, somebody with nothing left to lose, will break............. Their hatred from this Government towards me and my colleagues, of the uniform I proudly wear, has over time, become mutual. I wrote my own letter to my MP and got told to lump it - in their own words, admittedly (although it was by one of their minions). The Fed are powerless, or at worst implicated, in f*****g me over. Maybe, one day, I'll get the opportunity to repay everything that HMG has done to me. Maybe I won't. Cameron hasn't won yet. And I have plenty of life left to live. In the meantime, I'll cut my cloth a little more closely, cancel a few things, try and replan my finances and my working future. I saw a sticker on the wall of a gun range a few years ago. It said "I love my country but I fear my Government". I laughed at the time............
  6. 8 points
    I also grew up in the North in the 70s and 80s and was appalled by the Poll Tax and Clause 28. But I and many others had a top-class free education because of the assisted place scheme, which Labour did away with, condemning so many clever kids from poor families to attending sink schools. And we are massively more affluent as a country; in the 70s ordinary workers could rarely afford foreign holidays; these days it's pretty much the norm (or was until New Labour wrecked the economy). So there was good and bad and how you see it mostly depends on where you were standing at the time. No leader ever benefited every citizen, and it is very telling that the police service once known as "Maggie's bully boys" is now one of the most implacable enemies of the Tory administration. Nothing is ever black or white. But more to the point she has just died and it is churlish to take pleasure in this as though she was some despot who could not be removed from power; she was not a dictator but a democratically elected Prime Minister and left office over 20 years ago!
  7. 8 points
    I already have my pension and whether or not it is generous, too generous or whatever is irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact that I am receiving what I was promised when I signed up for it. No more, no less. I appreciate that in the current financial situation HMG have to make stringent economies but a promise is a promise and the pension conditions of those who actually work for HMG should be honoured. While it is dishing out foreign aid to countries who don't need it and others who actually hate us I don't see why HMG can truly say thy don't have the money to honour the promise made to its own servants.
  8. 8 points
    Too generous? To be honest I find it quite hypocritical and insulating by some posters too suggest the pension is too generous when they are fully protected and wil be receiving what they were expecting, promised and signed up to. You sound exactly like an mp or a leatherhead trougher spouting on about how pensions have to change knowing full well they wont be touching theirs. I guess those posters thinking they are generous will then be handing a portion of their honoured pension back if they feel so strongly about it that they are going to receive too much??? No thought not.
  9. 8 points
    There loads of precedents set by cases from tribunals,appeals and courts all the way to the top in relation to discrimination. Police officers have fought and won those battles together with many other occupations. They cannot change those precedents especially in relation to equality. Here they will be beaten, alternative employment with the same terms or pensioned off thats it- no grey areas. Those PDR'rs, the letters of commendation and other positive documents relating to the work of the restricted and injured officers will be their saving grace. Why 2012 - This officer is performing exceptionally well despite being injured, he has met all the targets and produces excellent work which was recognised by the Chief Constable and for which the force received awards (an example) 2014 - this officer is injured so does not deserve to be treated like a human being, to be treated like his colleagues and we have to pay him less because we have to save money. In fact we will ruin his life further by increasing his stress and anxiety, thus excaberating an already disabling condition. They lawyers will be queuing up at the doors of each and every nick in the land
  10. 8 points
    Well, well, if WINSOR CAMEROON and MAY were to read these pages they would piss themselves laughing. How did we change from brothers & sisters in Serve, to selfish, jealous individuals. Maybe its because I'm ex mob, BUT every single cop, whether office or street deserves loyalty, respect and the same pay. You do NOT know why a cop is now in an office, what physical or mental scars he carries. Some people posting on here have no idea which way their life will go. It may be that one day you are smothered at behind your back for being an office dweller. My role? Street for my entire time, until 12 months ago. Now I still wear my baton, still use my powers but use an office for half my time. You can swap with me for a week if you like, you may, however, find it uncomfortable, in the very very bright spotlight! Especially if the wheel came off. In short, we are all cops. Some may do well to remember that!
  11. 8 points
    I find this 'you don't work nights, lates etc' attitude a bit strange. I joined the police in 1984 and worked on shifts for at least 16 years. I was then given an opportunity to apply for a specialist role which always interested me so I applied and got it. The first 5+ years of that job meant working in a public facing 'front line' role (though not on the streets) followed by almost 8 years office based (once my restriction kicked in, although I didn't cough it to the job for a couple of years until I was forced to). My point here is that in this job of policing there are various roles to perform at all ranks and everybody has the opportunity to apply for those roles during their careers. At no point during my 28.5 years has anyone said that one role was worth any less than another and that by taking a particular role my pay should be cut (or increased for that matter). If such a position had existed before now would many of the office based (but vital) jobs have ever been filled? We have all done service at the sharp end for years and many chose to move either sideways or on promotion to either expand their careers or just to increase their interest in a new role. No-one should now be penalised for making career choices which existed throughout their years of service just because HMG have moved the goalposts. Many chose to remain in uniformed policing as they enjoy it and that is their choice too. I have heard many officers with up to 10 years service saying those based in offices shouldn't get as much in wages as they who are on the streets etc but they often forget that those longer in service have already served for longer in total than they have at the sharp end. Other jobs exist in the police and officers should not be penalised for taking them when the opportunity arose.
  12. 8 points
    It has finally dawned on me today that the ballot is a complete waste of time and would be so even if it was a straight yes or no without the arbitary 50% quota required by the Fed. Despite me taking part and voting 'yes' what has made me think this way?.....the news that 3000 officers have already applied to work at the G8 in N. Ireland! This was THE chance for rank and file cops to say 'up yours' to HMG! If, in dreamland, we ever got industrial rights these same cops would be the ones who would be climbing over us all to work overtime to cover for the ones who were taking any form of industrial action to try and improve the pay and working conditions of those very 'scabs'! A further irony here is that many of those 3000 and others who will follow them are probably the very ones who HMG have hammered with the increment freeze and cost thousands of pounds in lost earnings. We may as well close down this forum now or at least confine it to mundane police matters as all we have been debating re HMG, Winsor, Hutton etc is quite obviously a complete waste of time. Even the Fed have told cops to wait until all the G8 duty details, training, accomodation etc are known before applying but no, some people would volunteer to jump into shark infested water if there was a quid in it for them. The 'bigger picture' doesn't interest the greedy who seem to have no interest whatsoever in doing anything for the good of all their 'brothers and sisters' (including themselves). There is obviously no 'socialism' (with a small 's') in the police service I know some will say that there are cops who will 'need' the cash and I appreciate that but they are only replacing cash stolen by HMG. They would be better fighting to get that original cash back so that in future such opportunities as the G8 would genuinely be chances to earn EXTRA cash. A potential G8 boycott should always have been about protest against HMG's treatment of the police and never about any dangers which maybe faced policing in NI as police officers often face dangers and aren't afraid to do so. The fight (if it ever existed) is well and truely lost and I, for one, despair!! I could have posted this on any number of threads on this forum but I decided to link it to the ballot one as it seemed most appropriate to me.
  13. 8 points
    Couple of sets ago I was out in the middle of nowhere at 3am, single-crewed, on some country roads which wind back and forth between my Force area and the next county along. The only other unit working on my shift that night was a double-crewed car who they'd called into Custody to do an interview at stupid o'clock because of an anally retentive, risk-averse skipper who takes any opportunity to empty the cells. My nearest back-up from my County would have been about 15-20 mins tops on a blue light run from the next furthest nick, and that's if I could actually get as far as telling them where in the middle of nowhere I was. As I was driving along said windy road about 6 miles away from civilisation I came across a brand new motor parked up in the lay-by with it's lights on. I stop next to it, turn the alley lights on, and staring back at me are 3 guys who look monged off their tits. He hits the accelerator, I spin round and go after him, and within a couple hundred metres pull him over. Car stinks of weed, all 3 have previous for Class A, all 3 have previous for assault PC, one has previous for manslaughter, another on the SOR following a rape, and two of the three have 'weapon' markers. I take their details and send them on their way... Honestly? I think I'd have had grounds to nick the driver for driving whilst unfit and failing to stop. I wanted to turn them and the car over because of the Intel and the smell. After speaking to a friend who works in the neighbouring Force's drugs team these 3 are on their briefing for supply of Class A. Why didn't I? Because they'd have kicked the living daylights out of me. Rule 1 is to get home to the family at the end of each day... I'm not going to eat through a tube for the rest of my life just for another NFA from CPS or a Community Order from the Courts. If that makes me a bad cop then so be it... I just see it as not having the resources available to me to do my job effectively. Anyone who wants to call me on it, then fine... but I suggest they've not been on the receiving end of too many hidings if they're still seeing themselves as knights in shining armour.
  14. 7 points
    I hold most ACPO officers in contempt for the political weasels that they are. On this occasion I defer - Mr. Parker you are demonstrating the kind of leadership here that the junior ranks are desperately looking for; refusing to be bullied or turned by dubious politicians with their own agendas. Good on you Sir.
  15. 7 points
    As a long-serving Special but now no longer involved, I do understand the various sides of the argument for and against Specials. I can fully understand the feelings of many existing and retired Regular Officers who see the recent attempts at recruiting more Specials as a Government ploy to replace regular Officers with Specials and, potentially, mislead the Public into thinking there are more Police on the streets or, at the very least, that the numbers are not reducing at the levels that appear in the press. It must be clear to all that the Special Constabulary will NEVER replace the Regular Force nor can individual Specials replace Regular Officers. Whatever some Specials might think, their chance of having the necessary training, experience & skills to replace regulars is about the Square Root of Zero. In my 27 years, I met a number of Specials who thought they were at least on a par with regulars; sadly, many of these `people had "rank" in the Special Constabulary. Most of these folk were Walter Mitty-like characters and many of the Specials around them cringed at their arrogance and stupidity. When I joined the Specials, many of the regulars were ex-WW2 servicemen; some were anti- and some were pro-Specials. But what I found was that if Specials made an effort, turned up, listened to what was said and didn't try to be something they could not be, the relationships were pretty good at an individual level. As a Special Sgt I was sent to a "hard" station with 7 SCs - the aim by our Divisional Commandant was that we would be so badly treated by the Regulars that we would leave - this suited him because we were all active Specials and we didn't really want us because we rocked his personal boat - which focused on being a canteen cowboy - wearing Chief Supt's rank badges. The first few months at the "hard" station was a bit cool but by dint of hard work, always turning up and doing the crappy jobs - but also often being first ob scene at a shout for urgent assistance, we won over the Regulars and even the sub-divisional CID. The real measure of our success was that we were members of the Tea Club so that on nights (which we often did as a team on Fridays & Saturdays) we'd "mess" with Regulars who treated us as people who were part of their team. We would never had taken overtime off PCs but would turn out for duties where we were asked. The regular supervisors were good - they saw to it that we were trained and many of the PCs would do "specialist" briefings for us. It was hard to get to the above situation but it was worth it. One Inspector took me aside one night and said "I really don't like Specials and you lot irritate me - because I can't help but like you - you're always there when you're needed and I have PCs telling me what a help you are. If you ever need anything come to me and I'll sort it out for you." He then told me that there were two new Specials he was uncomfortable with and we agreed to take action to get rid of them. He proved right - they were troublemakers. The key to our success at that station is that we mirrored the values and attitudes of our regular colleagues. We were careful who we recruited and would not take anyone unless we were sure they were the right sort to fit in. To me, it is selection that is the key to a useful Special Constabulary - the regulars must know that they can rely on individuals and the collective Specials unit. Specials must be good at the limited range of things they can do - but that must include being able to do the paperwork - otherwise they are not fully functional for even a limited range of duties. Finally, there has to be a major initiative on the part of Chief Constables ^& the Met Commissioner to convince the Government that whilst Specials have a role, it isn't replacing Regulars. Using the Special Constabulary as a "feeder" for the Regular Force is a good idea but letting it be "policing on the cheap" will be a disaster! To any Specials reading this, remember one thing, you have been allowed to join one of the cornerstones of British justice - it is a serious business not a "hobby" and you have to have the humility to learn and listen to what the Regulars say. If you cannot have that humility, I venture to suggest that your attitude to the Public might be less than ideal and being a Special isn't really for you!
  16. 7 points
    There were a number of injustices that arose out of that whole matter. The first and biggest by far was the death of Stephen Lawrence at the hands of the scum that killed him. Other injustices involved the manipulation of the public with the term "institutionally racist". For well over a year the public were led to believe that it meant the vast majority of indivuduals in the Police did not like black people and therefore cared less and worked less hard to solve brutal murders against them. This was a lie. Much later when the damage had been done a definition was provided that was much more realistic in that it was an organisational failure to understand the needs of a particular community leading to a diminished level of service. It also came out that officers at the scene had of Stephen Lawrence's murder despite not knowing what to do had tried their best to save him. All previously suppressed or ignored. By this time the Metropolitan Police had been portrayed as little more than heartless racists and the Lawrence's as most grief stricken parents had anger that needed direction. The incompetencies and mistakes and unwitting organisational policy shortfalls became an image of white sneering racist Constables Policing the streets of London looking for a Rodney King to beat on. More interested in agenda than truth HMG allowed and even encouraged the distrust between the public and the Police. If anyone now asks who was to blame for Stephen Lawrence's death, the first blurted answer from most people would be "the Metropolitan Police." Doreen Lawrence continues to be angry at the Police and I think continues to blame them for her son's death.Perhaps more so than the monsters that actually did it. How do you defend yourself against the anger of a grief stricken mother? There is nothing we can say, nothing we can do but soak up her anger and accept her blows meekly. She is the ultimate anti Police weapon and I think being on the side of those putting the evil Police in their place has become good Politics. -Increasing her status and bringing her into the fold is bringing another big gun onto the deck of HMS Milliband. I am cynical enough to think they will use her grief just like they use everything else. Whatever the case though it will not bode well for the Police who I believe to already be a mortally wounded organisation. HMS
  17. 7 points
    Ahh...the old Housing allowance mantra again. Zulu is quite correct...those in the job still in receipt of Housing allowance fought and won a hard fight to keep it back in 1993. Back then Officers stood together and there was non of the apathy that we see today. Many of my service were 'posted' when they joined, into Police accommodation often in the far flung reaches of the Force that nobody else wanted to Police. We did not have the option to buy housing that officers get today. As a result (and as a condition of service) we receive either supplied accommodation or Housing allowance. In my case this meant that my Wife had to resign from her job, and come with me to the out station that I had been posted to. It was 50 miles away, and I was expected to provide cover 24 hours a day. I also had to sell the house that I owned as my Chief Con wouldn't allow me to keep it. Ten years later when I managed to get a move away from the out station, I had to seek permission from the Chief Con to buy a House, which on the first 2 occasions was refused. Needless to say, in the time I had been in Police Housing, property prices had rocketed with the house I had been forced to sell now being worth £150,000 more than I had sold it for. So there is good reason Housing allowance exists, although there are fewer and fewer of us in receipt. Officers in their last 10 are also frozen at their current pay point (in so much as none of us are in receipt of yearly pay rises). The loss of CRTP hits those in the last 10 as much as it hits any other officer. Loss of SPP also affects those in their last 10. Those in the last 10 will be paying 14% in pension contributions as opposed to those in the 2006 scheme who will be paying 12%. That all being said, I think that it is fundamentally wrong that Officers who are not at the top of their pay scale have been frozen on their current pay point, and have supported and taken an active part in every action I can to tackle what is clearly an injustice. It is a shame that so many of the officers actually being affected cant get off their ars*s and do likewise, but rather sit back expecting everything to be done for them. If we had acted similarly back in the early 90's, I am sure we would have lost housing allowance, and would all now be on short term contracts ! What does never cease to amaze me is seeing Officers calling for Colleagues pay to be targeted and reduced. That is precisely what the Govt want to see happening - Divide and conquer... I have said it before, and will say it again. Changes affecting any Officer in the job prior to the recent changes being brought about in my eyes are wrong. They should be introduced for new joiners only, after all the Govt have consistently told us that these changes are not about short term savings...The fed have to be pushed to challenge the pay increment freeze, and be pushed to challenge under sec 2 in 2015. To achieve this we must all stand together, as anything less will mean certain failure...
  18. 7 points
    Probably not racist but I'm outraged that anyone using this forum reads the DM. Get a bloody grip!
  19. 7 points
    Just finished watching a great film called A Few Good Men. Jack Nicholson gives a great speech defending his marines from a government investigation stating the following "You have the audacity to criticise and belittle our role when you rest and sleep each night under the blanket of security we provide" Got me thinking how lame we are as a service when it comes to defending ourselves. So many say there's nothing we can do. There's plenty we could have done with a robust leadership who wanted to take on this government.
  20. 7 points
    Just scanning thro the forum for a first time in a long while. This topic caught my eye, Ive just returned to work after 5 months off with PTSD related nervous breakdown with a bit of anxiety and depression thrown in for good measure. Undergoing counselling, medication and self help. The road to recovery is long, bumpy and hard work but I feel as tho Im getting there as a better person. The biggest moment of enlightenment for me was the admission to myself that I had a problem, then to admit the problem to others. I was amazed with peoples reaction, other than suprised everyone ive spoke to has been kind supportive and extremely helpful. I appreciate I may be lucky in this respect, the tone of your replies vicarinauniform would seem that you are still in the dark stages a little. My advice for what its worth is dont make any rash decisions just yet, use your period signed off to get yourself well enough to be in a better place to make your decision. Occy Health/Welfare your GP and others can help you get to that better place. Best of British, be safe, be good.
  21. 7 points
    We have been a community here. We've stayed ahead of the game, informed, educated and sustained The truth is, not much has actually happened to us yet, but we are moving from the theoretical to the implementation phase. I hope we can go through that together, much as we have done so far. With one voice spread across the country we have a chance to stay educated, informed, in a position to help each other, to fight this in the sort of coordinated way that it is obvious our elected reps are not able / willing to do.
  22. 7 points
    The nurse who took the hoax call from Australia where two persons pretended to be members of the Royal Family has been found dead. The death is being treated as 'unexplained' but it thought generally to be suicide as a result of what happened. If this is correct I hope those two morons responsible are pleased with themselves.
  23. 7 points
    Good on you for taking the first step: admitting it to yourself. 12 years ago, having been involved in a POLACC and having tried to ignore the injuries, stress caused by the situation and the knock-on effect I was diagnosed with stress-related anxiety. Having previously had 4 days off sick in 12 years service my sickness rocketed when I was laughed at, ignored and vilified leading to my GP refusing to let me go to work and me going onto half-pay,no pay and resigning. As I recovered I realised that if someone had bothered to have a chat over a tea/pint I would have allowed the pressure-release valve to work and returned to work. I tried to ignore the situation which exacerbated it. Now, after 4 years out of the job when I had to stand on my own 2 feet and was self-employed I re-joined and hit the promotion trail.I'm now an A/Inspector with a heavy emphasis on looking after my troops, sometimes to the necessity to going toe-to-toe with SMT. Lessons learnt: 1. a "depressive" episode takes 18mths -2 years to work through your system ( a 3 week celebrity stay in the Priory is b****cks!!!). 2. A wise Counsellor advised me that the Met did not employ her solely to listen to me- you are neither odd nor alone, you're listening to your inner voice which is a good thing. 3. Many of your colleagues will be thinking " there but for the grace of God.."4. TJF..totally and almost irrevocably. You were a human being before the Job, you'll be one after the Job, don't let it become the be all and end-all..now more than ever it's not worth it!
  24. 7 points
    Right assuming i do not get promoted anymore in my service my 1987 pension would enable me to retire 2 weeks before my 50th Birthday with maximum commutation and a pension of 21k per year. Now i am going to be working to 60, so thats 10 years I will not be getting my 21k a year so thats 210k i have lost. Also during these 10 extra years i will be paying in the increased subs so say 5k a year for 10 years so thats another 50k loss. Increased subs for the 15 years before the extra 10 years and add them all up and i am around £300,000 worse off before you even consider the reduced benefits of the new pension scheme. So I loose a conservative £300,000 and the policing minister says there will be no cliff edge effect, and the fed think its the best deal possible? Really? Its a disgrace thats what it is!!! The fed then publish clarification about the deal being the bess possible with no mention of section 2, this comes less than a week after they aske members to lobby their mp's re section 2. So what exactly is your stance fed? I havent got a clue and to be honest I dont think you do either!
  25. 7 points
    I have just been watching a bit of BBC News 24 and the gatherings and preparation in Manchester for the funeral of the 1st officer that was shot and killed. The chairman of the GMP Fed stated that they have had over 5000 offers from officers from other forces to give up their rest days, work without pay, to come and police Manchester so that the GMP Officers can get to the funeral. I don't know if the offer was taken up because this was not made clear, but what a gesture. I just CANNOT think of any other organisation - ANYWHERE that would do this. A breed apart indeed.