A Little Bit Of Hypocrisy Here?

I hear there has been a report published by HMICFRS that is very critical of Greater Manchester Police’s Crime Recording record and the service they have provided to public in general and victims.

My immediate reaction to that is that there more than a little hypocrisy and arrogance involved there.

It is a matter of (controversial) public record that the Tories under Camoron and Cruella set about a series of swingeing cuts to the Police Service under the guise of Austerity.

When the Tories came to power in May 2010 Greater Manchester Police had a total of 8,148 Police Officers, 3,927 Police Staff and 842 PCSOs. Fast Forward to March 2020 and they had 6.866 Police Officers, 3,524 Police Staff and 560 PCSOs.

During this period Tom Winsor undertook a controversial review of the Police Services and published several recommendations, the majority of which were implemented by the then Home Secretary Theresa May. In recognition of his fine work Tom Winsor became SIR Tom Winsor and was appointed as Chief Inspector, Her Majetsy’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

This is the very same organisation that has published the document referenced above, being critical of the performance of GMP in various functions.

MY VERY PERSONAL take on this is that it smacks very much of hypocrisy when you look back at the history of what has happened in the last 10 and a bit years.

Not once have HMRC/HMRCFRS stood up against government and opposed the cuts. Who is their head honcho? Tom Winsor who was instrumental in much of this carnage,

HMRCFRS really ought to remember what they are called. HER MAJESTY’S INSPECTORATE OF CONSTABULARY. Not the government’s Inspectorate, not Theresa May’s Inspectorate, not David Camoron’s Inspectorate, not even Priti Patel or Boris Johnson’s Inspectorate, but HER MAJESTY’S.

As such they really ought to keep out of politics, criticise and improve the Police when it is appropriate and stand up to the government cuts when that is appropriate. Her Majesty is supposedly independent when it comes to politics. Well so should any Inspectorate that bears her title in their name. They represent Her Maj, but are actually carrying out Theresa May’s bidding through the side door (not quite out of sight).

Police Pay, Pensions and Conditions – It All Makes Sense Now

But I still don’t agree with it.

Correct me if I’m wrong but the first major changes came with Tom Winsor’s ‘Independent’ Reviews.

Instead of being able to retire on a full pension after 30 years service ‘Tom’ recommended increasing retirement age to 60 for a full pension. The Pension Scheme itself was changed from a Final Salary Scheme to a Career Average Scheme. I can’t remember the numbers but I think that the contributions level was also increased. In other words, today’s generation of Police Officers are paying more, paying for longer and receiving less than a) their predecessors and b) their reasonable expectations when they first joined their Pension Scheme.

Fast Forward to 2018 and the College of Policing have introduced the 3 new routes i to Policing. They have also introduced the concept of a ‘Healthy Churn’. They no longer expect Police Officers to hang around for 40 years, and they will actually help you to leave and be a fine ‘Ambassador’ for Policing.

I find it highly unlikely that the new breed of Graduate Entrants will hang around for 40 years unless they climb the greasy pole.

Therefore the vast majority of the workforce will serve maybe 5-10 years, burn out, then join the churn and move on.

Add in the effect of pay levels being frozen for years and the potential benefits for the Pension Pot become crystal clear.

The Police Service is in crisis, there is no doubt, but the bigger tragedy is that evil government plans (reforms) pushed so viciously by Cruella and the Sycophants, have been Aided and Abetted by ACPO/NPCC. Even now only a minority of the Chiefs are speaking out.

It all makes sense – Churn is healthy for those that pay your pensions. Other Public Services take note.

This is what it has always been about, can you spot the traitors?

Sir Tom Winsor

Who is Sir Tom Winsor? Well, most people know by now that he was the lead author of the infamous Independent Review of Police Officers’ & Staff Remuneration and Conditions, first published in 2011.

The ‘highlights’ include

  • Tom Winsor provided the government with recommendations as to how a modern police pay structure could be achieved. Changes to pay that would lower police officer starting salaries but allow officers to progress more quickly to higher pay.
  • A stronger link between pay and skills – in the short term, a £600 allowance for officers who use certain skills (those required for neighbourhood policing, public order, investigation and firearms), and in the longer term, for the highest pays to be limited to those officers who develop, maintain and use professional skills, and who are carrying out roles that require the powers or expertise of a police officer.
  • A stronger link between pay and performance, with annual pay increase limited to those who have performed satisfactorily or better, and those identified as poor performers receiving no rise.
  • Proposals on fitness testing to ensure that all officers are fit enough to be deployed to the front line, with continued support for those injured on duty.
  • A requirement for applicants to have a policing qualification, A-levels, or relevant experience before becoming a police officer. {This recommendation has now been extended and requires a degree, or equivalent, for new recruits as of 2019 I believe}
  • A direct entry scheme to enable individuals of considerable achievement and capacity to join at the rank of superintendent, with appropriately rigorous training and development.
  • The introduction of a system of compulsory severance for police officers, as is currently the case for other public sector workers.
  • An increase in the pension age to 60 (compared to a pension age of 65 rising to 68 in line with state pension age for most other public service workers).
  • Tom Winsor has recommended that an annual fitness test should be implemented in September 2013 based on the entry standard for new recruits. In total, officers would be expected to run 540 metres in 3 minutes 29 seconds. The level of fitness required to be able to complete this test is not an unreasonable expectation for police officers, and someone of only average fitness should be able to pass the test well into their 60s.

I’m sure there are others, but the above seem to be the main features coming out of the Independent Reviews. Controversial, many of them, unsympathetic some would day, and others would claim that they very closely resembled David Cameron’s speech on Police Reform in 2006. I don’t know if Sir Tom even read that article, but he might have done..

The bizarre thing to me is that Sir Tom did not claim his fee (£300 per day) for the Reviews from the Home Office. I know that’s true because the Home Office told me.

Sir Tom has been a controversial character ever since. In no particular order, as they say,

Apart from his outspoken views on unfit cops, he has not been shy about upsetting the fine men and women of our Police Service.

He stated that the Police Service was currently “unfairly perceived” as a blue-collar occupation with a “clock-in and clock-out” mentality, whereas it should be regarded as one of the professions. I know many former and serving officers, and not one of them has ever displayed a “clock in, clock out mentality’ so I have no idea where he got that one from. I have never even heard or read that description from anybody other than Sir Tom Winsor, so I have no idea where it originated.

He was appointed as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary despite never having served a single day as a Police Officer, totally unprecedented. If that wasn’t bad enough he pitched up at a National Police Memorial Day service in what purported to be a Police Uniform, many took that as a sleight on their profession.

Last year he upset and offended serving and former officers alike by claiming that Response Officers “take nothing home with them” implying that Response Officers left the stresses and experiences in their locker at the end of the day, and that tecs took their work home with them and worried about it at home. This was blatantly wrong, in my opinion, and showed Response Officers no respect or understanding at all.

Sir Tom apologised the very next day. Sir Tom said: “Yesterday, on Sky News, I made a mistake, for which I apologise.

I said that, in contrast to detectives, response officers “take nothing home” at the end of their shifts. That is plainly wrong, it is not what I meant, and I realise it has caused anger and offence. I am sorry about this.”

He added: “Response and neighbourhood policing are undoubtedly stressful.

“Police officers and staff who deal with the many dreadful things which people do to others, or which happen to them, most certainly do not leave them behind; they take them home, and in many cases they stay with them forever. This was illustrated by some of the harrowing examples on Twitter yesterday.”

Most recently he has displayed, again, in my opinion, a total lack of understanding how the Police Service works. He said the “shortcomings” of police chiefs who did not plan or use resources effectively were masked by the “get the job done” attitude of front-line officers. If he had ever been a Police Officer he would know full well that the default attitude of Police Officers is exactly that, get the job done. It is not done that way out of loyalty to the bosses, nor to cover up for the shortcomings of the bosses, but because your average Police Officer just wants to get the job done and achieve the desired outcome, frequently in unorthodox ways.

I am firmly of the opinion that Sir Tom Winsor is being a bit naughty in his criticisms of certain aspects of Policing. The way I understand it, he was the lead author of the ‘Winsor Reviews’ that directly led to Theresa May’s Police Reforms. He knows full well the troubles and problems that have been forced upon the Police Service of England and Wales. He absolutely understands the consequences of losing 21,000 officers and the budgetary restraints imposed upon them. He has been at the very core of the cuts prior to his appointment to HMIC (as was). Now he is the Chief Inspector he really should understand what the problems are before criticising how the modern Police Service is operating. I’m pretty certain that most Forces could operate better at 2010 staffing levels, PLUS, some features of Policing, like serious Public Disorder, most definitely requires numbers. Maybe he should be making that argument back up the chain. There are only so many ‘Efficiency Savings’ that can be made. Increased use of technology is not always the answer. As somebody said a few years ago you can’t solve all those problems by chucking a few iPads at them.

So, there you have it, a potted history of Sir Tom Winsor for the benefit of anyone who may have missed him.

How Long Before The Government Destruction Of The British Police Service Is Complete?

Wow, that is some headline. Do I really mean it? On reflection I believe that I do. Isn’t it a bit OTT?  No, I don’t think it is. I actually believe that this government, driven by Cameron and May initially, and now May and Rudd have systematically plotted the destruction of the British Police Service as we know it.


I really have no idea. There have been numerous suggestions why put forward over the past seven years and I’m really not sure which ones I favour.

Winsor’s Independent Reviews of the Police Service. Nothing much ‘Independent’ about them. Not one single Risk or Impact Assessment carried out to produce two volumes closely mimicking David Cameron’s speech of 2006.  Does anybody really think they were ‘Independent’? Are we really expected to swallow that the author (Winsor) never claimed his fee? Yeah right.

Why else do I think it’s a deliberate strategy by government?

Since 2010 approx 21,000 Police Officer posts have been shed from England and Wales alone.

Include reductions to PCSOs, Police Staff, Specials etc and the picture looks like this for England and Wales

I only currently have the data for Police Officers but including Scotland and Northern Ireland doesn’t really improve the picture much, they have, broadly speaking, stood still, neither gaining nor losing significant numbers

Surely it is not possible to manipulate the loss of Police Officers and their various support staff on such a scale without it being a deliberate act, and #Austerity is pretty much discredited now.  So what is the reason?

One of the Tory lies is that they have protected the Front Line, well would dispute that promise most vehemently, the government’s own data disproves that one

So, what makes me certain that it’s a deliberate act by government?  Firstly, losses on this scale can hardly be an accident or a mistake.  Even Tory MPs have occasionally gone off-script and complained that there were insufficient officers to deal with incidents that had arisen in their constituencies.  Having been reminded that their party had caused it they mysteriously went quiet. Head Office had presumably reminded them of the script.

Police Forces across the land have been forced to sell “the family silver” in order to reduce the worst effects of the cuts. Real Estate that will never be replaced. Over 600 Police Stations or Front  Counters closed, over 100 more earmarked for closure. Housing stock, training facilities and Feeding Centres etc sold off. How and when will they be replaced? Simple, they won’t be.

Traditionally Mutual Aid has been used by Forces in need of urgent, short-term assistance with a serious Policing problem.  Move a few dozen officers on loan to anotherForce  for a day or two. Only with constantly shrinking numbers that isn’t as simple as it used to be, as there are no longer an adequate number left behind.

Current losses of Officers alone are the equivalent of the areas shaded in pink having NOT ONE SINGLE POLICE OFFICER OF ANY RANK ON THE FORCE.

How can that possibly be anything other than deliberate?

Slowly, Some Chief Officers are waking up and complaining that their officer strength is not sustainable. Too little, too late and by many, no action whatsoever. Even recently some Chief Officers have claimed to have sufficient resources to Police their communities. How can that possibly be true?  Are they really saying that they have been over-staffed for years?  I don’t want to believe it but are ACPO/NPCC in cahoots with government, quietly standing by whilst their Police Forces are dismantled?

Modern recruitment regimes also affect the makeup of Police Forces.  Schemes that recruit ‘top graduates’ are guaranteed to change the face of the Force. Regarding it as a job for about 5 years instead of a dedicated devotion for 30 years or more will quickly make a difference. Adopting the MOD regime of dispensing withtheir expensive, experienced workforce and replacing thhem with cheap recruits also has an inevitable impact. Again, I can only believe that it’s part of a deliberate plan. 

The final thing to convince me was reading GrahamWettone’s excellent blogpost The Policing Crisis express has left the station.  It made me realise that I’m not the only person thinking this way.   

I can but agree with Graham.  This #CrisisInPolicing has been going on long enough that David Cameron  (before he stood down) or Theresa May, maybe even Amber Rudd could actually acknowledge this crisis and set plans in motion to save the Police Service.  They have done no such  thing.


You can call me a Conspiracy Theorist, I really don’t care. What I am is passionate about my former career and the ‘colleagues’ still ‘on duty’. Pay frozen, Pension increased, pay more for longer, receive less. This Mrs May just does not care.

Meanwhile the shrinkage just goes on.

If you are not already aware another former officer Peter Kirkham (@PeterKirkham) is doing a fine job highlighting the #CrisisInPolicing. Find out more here

It’s All The Police’s Fault (No It Isn’t)

I am grateful (again) to @NathanConstable. I had the read the article about West Yorkshire Police and dutifully spluttered coffee into my All Bran but Nathan tweeted that we should read he comments, which I had failed to do. 

The gist of the article was about the reduction of Police Officers and PCSOs in West Yorkshire Police since 2010.  Nearly 100 fewer officers in Bradford alone.

To offset these losses more Specials have been recruited.

The comments, however, were shocking.  Some quite vociferous condemnation of West Yorkshire Police for what? For carrying out government policy, Reform if you wish.

Has one person from the Home Office stood up and said “It’s our fault, not the Police’s. We told them to do it”?  NO

Cruella and the Milky Bar Kid are the architects of this reform, and they remain notably quiet.

We tend to be a bit parochial and most of us only take notice of the Police Forces a) Where we live and b) any Police Forces we may have served in.  This story may be being repeated all across the land.  I don’t know because I haven’t looked, but as Nathan points out, the detail is in the Comments. It seems that at least some of the Public have been taken in by the government snd HMIC and do actually beieve that it’s the Police’s fault.

A couple of years ago I posted The Crucifixion Cycle and sadly it seems to be coming true, whilst we still (in the main) enjoy a good level of Public Confidence, there are those who would seek to crucify us, and government and HMIC are doing NOTHING to correct the opinion of those who believe that it is the Plice’s fault. NOTHING.

Something Smells Rotten In Mrs May’s Empire

At the back end of last year you will no doubt recall I had cause to think that Tom Winsor had dsisappeared, that post is here.


I have now had my reply from the Home Office asking for a copy of all the documents relating to FOI request 18164/2011.

No thanks to the Home Office I have found an unedited version of that response, it reads like this;

Dear Mr Tompsett,
Thank you for your e-mail of 22 March 2011, in which you ask for information regarding the Independent Review of Remuneration and Conditions of Service for Police Officers and Staff. Your request has been handled as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
You asked specifically for:
‘…how much Tom Winsor has either been paid or will be paid to carry out his review on remuneration and conditions of service for police officers and staff in England and Wales?
In relation to this review, can you please also inform me the amount of money paid or being paid to Sir Edward Crew and Professor Richard Disney for their work in participating with Tom Winsor?’
I am able to disclose the following information:
The law firm White and Case, at which Tom Winsor is a partner, will receive £300 per day for his services. Sir Edward Crew, who is the review’s Policing Advisor, will also receive £300 per day for his services.
Richard Disney is Professor of labour market economics at the University of Nottingham. The university has received £16,000 for his report.
In keeping with the Freedom of Information Act, we assume that all information can be released to the public unless it is exempt. In line with normal practice we are therefore releasing the information which you requested via the Home Office website.

So, a few porkies from the Home Office then, they only made an edited version available on their website


Magically no mention of Tom Winsor at all, despite the wording of the original request;

‘…how much Tom Winsor has either been paid or will be paid to carry out his review on remuneration and conditions of service for police officers and staff in England and Wales?

Now it has got worse, my reply from the Home Office says this;

We have searched our records and can confirm that the information sought with respect to
CR18164 is no longer available.

The Home Office does not retain FOI case files for an indefinite period of time. Records of FOI
cases are kept for two years after the last recorded action on the case. The last recorded
action on CR 18164 was in March 2011.

Inaccurate, as they replied in May 2011, but hey what’s a couple of months between friends?

Tom Winsor has disappeared, White and Case have disappeared and now the documentation relating to previuous FOI requests has disappeared.  A two year retention policy does not seem very long compared to the length of time other public sector organisations are required to keep documents for.

Maybe a less cynical person can put me out of my misery.


Happy New Year to you all.

Tom Winsor Has Completely Disappeared

Well, that’s not strictly true, but he has been expunged from the record.

After Friday’s blog and the shitstorm it invoked about the apparent lack of transparency surronding a certain man and his Indepent Review, I dug a little deeper and went into the Home Office Disclosure Log to make sure the original request hadn’t ‘disappeared’.

Well it hasn’t.

But Tom Winsor and White & Case have disappeared.

The original response to Freedom of Information Request dated 20th May 2011 said this

You asked specifically for:
‘…how much Tom Winsor has either been paid or will be paid to carry out his review on remuneration and conditions of service for police officers and staff in England and Wales?
In relation to this review, can you please also inform me the amount of money paid or being paid to Sir Edward Crew and Professor Richard Disney for their work in participating with Tom Winsor?’

The Home Office response to this request said this

I am able to disclose the following information:
The law firm White and Case, at which Tom Winsor is a partner, will receive £300 per day for his services. Sir Edward Crew, who is the review’s Policing Advisor, will also receive £300 per day for his services.
Richard Disney is Professor of labour market economics at the University of Nottingham. The university has received £16,000 for his report.

When I go to the Home Office Disclosure Log for CR18164 I find his

Payments to Richard Disney for review on remuneration and conditions of service for police officers and staff in England and Wales

This says

We have received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following:

The amount of money paid or being paid to Professor Richard Disney for hiw work in participating with Tom Winsor

We released the following information on 20 May 2011.

Richard Disney is Professor of labour market economics at the University of Nottingham. The university has received £16,000 for his report.

So Tom Winsor and Sir Edward Crewe have completely disappeared from the request and response, a cynical person might think there’s something dodgy going on.


I have today requested full details of the above FOI request via the Freedom of Information Act.  I await their response.

Surely It’s Now Time For Theresa May To Go

Her time is done, she’s set about the wholesale destruction and discrediting of the British Police. Her and Tom Winsor set in place a plan which is reducing the British Police from being the pride of the world to a mere shadow of its former self.
In the name of ‘Reform’ she is changing the shape of Policing in the UK forever.  To me ‘Reform’ implies that the subject of the reform will be made in some way better.  What is happening yo Policing UK is in no way an improvement.
Since 2010 the size of the England & Wales Police Service has shrunk by 17,500 officers with a similar number set to go by 2020.  It. Is IMPOSSIBLE to continue to Police the country with shortfalls of that magnitude.  This is not about doing things more efficiently, yes we can, but this is far deeper and darker than efficiency.
After 5 years the Police Chiefshave entered the fray but let’s be clear, this is far too late.  They should have voiced their concerns at the very beginning, instead they merely conducted witch hunts against serving officers who dared to speak out.  You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Those senior officers who stood by and let this happen, saying nothing, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Little credibility in joining in 5 years later when all is virtually lost.

Now today we have had to contend with Theresa May speaking to the National Black Police Association.  Even before lunch she had invoked angry responses from the Met, Durham and Dyfed Powys Constabularies. Apparently our Home Secretary was addressing the NBPA with inaccurate information.  Deliberately provocative or incompetent?  You would think that if one of our senior politicians was going to give such a high profile address, already leaked to the Press in advance, that she would get her facts right.  Or are the 3 Police Forces lying?  Publish the stats, flush out the liar(s).

Then she embarked upon another narrative guaranteed to provoke and annoy.  The thorny subject of Stop and Search.

 “I know there are those who say that our reforms have gone too far, that the pendulum has swung too much the other way, and that reforms to stop and search are linked to knife crime in our capital and elsewhere. But to them I say this: stop and search reform has worked, it must continue, and – if you look at the evidence – it shows no link whatsoever with violent crime.”

To her I say this – show us the evidence then. Convince us, stop relying on anecdotal vide cue, show us the proof that there is no connection between Stop/Search and Knife Crime.

In relation to her provocative comments about Police Forces being “too white” I will dare to say that Police a Forces should endeavour to be as good as they can be.  There should be no “acceptable” levels for any ethnicity. We should recruit the best candidates whatever their ethnicity, gender or sexual persuasion.  All Police Recruits take an oath to serve and uphold “Without Fear or Favour”. That should be sufficient.

What percentage of MPs, the Home Office, the Cabinet are from Ethnic Minorities?  How many are female?  Come on Theresa tell us?  It’s a perfectly reasonable request.  I am not the only person to require an answer to that question.

Between them Theresa May and Tom Winsor have destroyed the fabric and the morale of the British Police Service.  Very few Police OR Public have any confidence them.

I expect Sir Hugh is still available for the HMIC job, I believe he would bring some credibility to the post once more.  We could probably rustle up s Home Secretary with some credibility from somewhere.

Personally I have #NoConfidenceInTheresaMay and I shall be sharing my concerns  with my elected MP.  Whether you do the same is, of course, up to you.

Monkeys, Winsor and Policing

The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.
Or, put another way, if you give 1,000 monkeys 1,000 typewriters they will eventually (at random) produce the complete works of William Shakespeare, or maybe even Tom Winsor’s Independent Reviews.

Well, it seems like the monkeys have been exceeding busy, used up a lot of trypewriter (sic) ribbons and come up with the HMIC PEEL Police Efficiency report.

With no surprise to anyone, Humberside Police were graded as ‘Inadequate’, which is not me being grizzly towards Humberside, but more a reflection on how things are at the moment.

The following 5 Forces were graded as ‘Outstanding’

  • Cheshire;
  • Durham;
  • Lancashire;
  • Norfolk; and
  • West Midlands.

Like with Humberside, are any of the above truly ‘Outstanding’?  The Chief Constables and/or PCCs of many of those 5 Forces have recently been complaining about their Force is being affected, and not in a good way, by the ‘Cuts’.

I know that I am not alone in suspecting that many of the Chief Constables and PCCs are having their egos massaged by their HMIC gradings, and, dare I suggest, this might dissuade them from their current campaign of highlighting the effects of the ‘Cuts’ on Force capabilities and the Public.

“As part of its annual inspections into police efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy (PEEL), HMIC’s Efficiency programme assessed how a force maximises the outcomes from its available resources. We reviewed both the financial and workforce planning of police forces whilst examining wider questions of cost, capacity and capability. Our inspection focused on the overall question, ‘How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?’
To answer this question HMIC looked at three areas:

  1. How well does the force use its resources to meet demand?
  2. How sustainable and affordable is the workforce model?
  3. How sustainable is the force’s financial position for the short and long term?

As part of the inspection, a survey of 26,458 people was carried out by IPSOS MORI, looking into public satisfaction with the service provided by their local police force, and whether they considered it provided value for money:

  • 54 percent thought the range of services offered by the police in their local area had remained about the same;
  • 8 percent of respondents thought the visibility of the police in their local area had improved, 44 percent thought it had stayed about the same and 36 percent thought it had got worse; and
  • 7 percent of respondents thought the presence of uniformed officers had increased locally, 52 percent thought it had not changed and 31 percent thought it had fallen”

The population of England and Wales is somewhere North of 56 Million TOTAL inhabitants, approximately 45 Million of whom are Adults = about 0.06% of the adult population.  Is that really a statistically significant sample?

54% of a very small sample thought that the range of services offered by the police in their local area had remained about the same thus “proving” that the governments budgetary cuts and Reforms have made no discernible difference to the “majority” of people.  Do we really believe that?  Not likely, not on a sample that small.  Where do these people live?  How many were sampled from each Force Area?  Rural or Urban dwellers?

Sir Thomas Winsor said chief constables and other top officers had a “fear of the private sector” and lacked the skills to negotiate contracts with suppliers, particularly for new technology.  Is he MAD?  Chief Constables don’t negotiate contracts, they employ Police Staff at an appropriate grade to do that for them.

As I said before, there has already been a lot of discussion today about this report on Twitter, and I will just repeat one of the questions

Do any of you work in a Force that has had a ‘positive’ report from HMIC recognise that as being accurate?

All I have ever heard for the last four years are tales of how bad things are, I have not heard one single example of how ANYTHING is better under the ‘Cuts’ and Reform.


Or was it the monkeys after al?


Reality Bites

This post is aimed at my non-Police reader, for reasons that I hope will be obvious, so if you’re the Police Officer I won’t be offended if you don’t read it.  You will possibly have read a lot from me and others about the government fiddling with Police Pensions and maybe wonder what all the fuss is about.

Last night I was ‘chatting’ in an electronic sort of way, with a chap who told me that he was a Police Officer in a Force in the southern half of the country.

We were chatting about the 74 Police Officers who have allegedly accepted ‘Voluntary Redundancy’ in Gwent.

This officer has 15 years service, meaning that he joined his force long before May and Winsor came along and changed people’s pensions.  He signed up to a Pension knowing that in 30 years time he could retire and would have had a rough idea what his pension would have been worth to him.

Then it all changed.

At 15 years service he is an experienced officer, would have been  halfway through his  service with another 15 to go.

Now he has a further 24 years left to serve.

He is paying more each month into his pension.

He will be paying more each month for a full 9 years more.

In 24 years time his pension will be worth less than it would have been worth under the scheme he signed up to.

This was not a voluntary change, it was imposed on him, and all his colleagues, during his service, by Theresa May and Tom Winsor.

The last thing he said to me last night was that if anybody comes near him with a set of Voluntary Redundancy forms he will snatch them out of their hands and sign them.

My question to you is two-fold;

Put yourself in this officer’s place, how would you feel about what has been done to your career, your pension, your retirement plans?

Is it right for the government to treat our brave officers so shabbily part-way through their service?  Changes to pension schemes are normally introduced for new members, not existing members.

I hope this has given you a bit more insight into what just some of the issues are and how they affect people in a real way.