I have read, listened and cogitated an awful lot this last week, and I have decided that something different needs to be considered, the traditional ways do not seem to be working.
If the politicians won’t keep their noses out of policing we obviously need to keep the police out of policing and leave the politicians to get on with it. Things will obviously improve overnight. Crime will be reduced almost to zero, as they have all the answers. There will be politicians dressed as police officers on every corner, highly skilled, literate, and able to deal with any situation that may arise on their patch. Omnicompetent maybe, but all they’ll have to do is reduce crime, nothing else matters
They would retain their meagre politicians’ salaries and allowances, thus reducing the cost of policing at a stroke, and their humble pensions, as opposed to the gold-plated police pensions they despise so much, will mean that the pension bill is also slashed at a stroke.
The age of the average politician is such that working till 60 shouldn’t be a problem, and as they expect police officers to fit and nubile well into their silver years, they should be more than capable and willing to step in and chase the 17 year old mugger down the road when called upon to do so. Except that they won’t need to because there will be no crime in their nirvana will there?
I have seen it suggested today that the government and ACPO favour an army style police force (sorry, service) 22 years service, work till you’re 60 (if you can) and then we’ll forget about you. Well, they’re halfway there. They’ve reduced the size of the army to such an extent that it is now smaller that than the combined Police Forces of England and Wales. They are in the process of reducing the size of the Constabulary now, to match.
I’m a simple soul, but if one decreases the size of the army, who fills in when the privatised police service can’t provide enough security guards for the next major sporting event? Do we bring back a regiment or two from whichever theatre of war they find themselves in, or maybe we could cut out the middle man and just deploy the TA direct, seeing as how this week’s daft proposal is to double the TA and slash the regular army a shed-load more?
Now I’ve got the sarcasm and bile out of the way, I’ll move on to today’s sensible thought. Make the most of it, it’s the only one you’ll get today.
The Police Pensions e-petition has passed the 100,000 mark, and is currently sitting at 102,374 votes and ending tomorrow. We have been told that it will be debated in Parliament, and I sincerely hope that it is. I sincerely hope that the debate succeeds, but unfortunately that is where my confidence begins to wane., and even if the debate is successful the arrogant Team Cameron/May/Green will no doubt find a dubious way of ignoring it.
Maybe now is the time to think outside the box and think of something completely different as Monty Python used to say. The proposed pension changes will adversely affect every single serving officer with more than 10 years service remaining. That is a huge number of officers. Fundamental changes such as these have traditionally been imposed on new recruits only, and not officers already in the Police Pension Scheme, giving recruits the option to join or not to join. The #ThinkTankOcracy coalition have decided that this is not good enough. They want it NOW.
So my off-the-wall (but serious) suggestion is this;
That the Police Federation for England and Wales appoint an appropriately experienced law firm to investigate, research and establish if there is a case for taking a Class Action on behalf of all the disadvantaged members, and instigate a legal challenge to Theresa May’s bullying tactics. I may be wrong, but I sense that the issues around pensions are the ones that are causing the most angst, and that things like Winsor’s famous Blobby Bobby comments are just there to distract us from what is really important. Maybe, just maybe, if an agreement on pensions could be reached that would open the way for a satisfactory conclusion to the remaining Winsor recommendations.
There may be reasons why a legal challenge/class action is not possible, but merely being a retired, illiterate pleb I am not aware of them.
That’s me done for the day, when all else fails try something different is all I can say.