30 November 2017
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has been undergoing a root and branch review, having embarked on a change programme in 2014 after it commissioned its own review in order to improve working practices. The Independent Review managed by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) was led by Sir David Normington and made 36 recommendations to the way it worked, all of which the PFEW agreed to adopt.
Since then each recommendation has been worked through but because PFEW was created by an act of parliament, many have been subject to obtaining legislative change.
The PFEW was set up by the Police Act 1919 (current rules now found under the Police Act 1996) after two British police strikes in 1918 and 1919. The government at the time was concerned by the prospect of the police striking again and so created the PFEW, withdrawing the right of officers to strike but instead allowing the PFEW to negotiate on all matters concerning its membership’s pay, allowances, hours of duty, annual leave, pensions and other conditions of service.
PFEW Chair Steve White said this week’s parliamentary activity was the culmination of three years’ hard work and was a positive move for the organisation and for the officers it represents.
“This has been a very complex and protracted process, with a highly complex legal process, lots of legal argument and detailed discussion in order to ensure what we are putting in place is fit for purpose and serves officers – and ultimately the public – well, and long into the future. We were committed to implementing the recommendations of the review despite resistance from some of those within at times for that change to happen.
“But it was clear there was a real need to modernise the Federation so that it was fit for a modern day police service – structures set up in 1919 clearly do not resonate nearly a hundred years later: society has changed beyond measure and it was right that we did too. There is still much work to be done as we embed changes but we are proud to present a more professional organisation which represents thousands of hard working police officers across England and Wales and today’s achievement is testament to the incredible hard work of our General Secretary Andy Fittes and those who have supported him on the Change Board as we worked closely with the Home Office looking carefully at the detail of all the change.”
A new transparency, improved standards of conduct and integrity, improved election procedures and better financial management as well as a concerted drive to improve representation from female and BME groups were just part of the comprehensive and complete overhaul to a structure which had hardly changed in the Federation’s 100 year old history.
Mr White added: “In fulfilling our statutory responsibilities for the welfare and efficiency of our members we will continue to modernise the Federation and improve the way we work to ensure we – and the 43 local federation branches – make the best use of our resources, are accountable and provide the best service we can for our members and the public they serve.
For more information visit the Independent Review page.
The new legislation is due to become law by 31 December 2017.