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Crossing the thin blue line

Nick Robinson | 08:13 UK time, Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Ministers are on standby for trouble. Big trouble.

They expect a march on Whitehall. They know they'll face a wave of anger. They are ready for charges of betrayal. And they won't be able to call on the police to help.


Police line up (Getty Images)

It is the police themselves that the government is preparing to confront. This is the day when a report will blow the whistle on generous police allowances, overtime and bonuses.

At any time this would be hugely controversial. Remember that the Sheehy Report into cutting police perks was seen off in the 1990s. Ken Clarke who had taken on and beaten the nurses and the ambulance drivers met his match when faced by the boys in blue. Remember Jacqui Smith who faced a police march and protests at her home when she refused to backdate a police pay award.

This, though, isn't any time. It's the time when police pay has been frozen, police pensions (along with others in the public sector) are about to be curbed and jobs are to be cut. Jobs will - ministers hope - be their trump card. They will argue that if today's report by Tom Winsor is adopted, huge sums could be saved without cutting jobs.

The Police Federation gained headlines recently for a prediction that there'd be 40,000 job cuts. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) estimate today that that figure will be much lower - although 28,000 is still a very large proportion of the 143,000 serving officers. Ministers will offer the police and the public a trade off - lose the perks and keep jobs or keep the perks and see numbers fall.

There's one big problem. The men and women the government's preparing to take on are the very same people who will be expected to be in the front line when ministers face the anger of others whose pay and pensions and jobs and services will be cut. Margaret Thatcher took the precaution of increasing police pay and budgets before putting them in the front line in the 1980s.

Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    So this is basically an accusation that police officers won't be professional enough to do their jobs when faced with cuts?

  • Comment number 3.

    Ken Clarke who had taken on and beaten the nurses and the ambulance drivers, did he?

    Are re-writing history?

  • Comment number 4.

    Any country going to war doesn't want to fight on more than one front. The government seems determined to take on conflict on many fronts and they have taken on 2 of the biggest, the NHS and the Police.

    The difference is that the government need to rely on the Police to quell any unrest over the coming 2 years which there will inevitably be. This is a giant miscalculation among many by this coalition.

    Remember the election rhetoric that no front line policing will be hit and it could all be done with efficiency savings? That seems a long way off now.

  • Comment number 5.

    Oh Nick let it come. The police service together with the other security organs of the state such as UK Border Agency and customs and Excise have been a bye word for incompetence for years.

    Senior officers who have chaufeurs like the CEO of a plc? Officers whose children benefit from school fees? An organisation where political correctness has gone made. All are examples of the UK Police Service.

    An organisation who cannot organise a single purchasing policy, where radios operate on different systems, where there are umpteen different uniform, vehicle and operational standards. This is UK policing.

    Teresa May and Carmeron need to stand up to these people since they represent the unacceptable face of public service.

  • Comment number 6.

    The downing street spin machine has been extremely dishonest the way it has attempted to undermine police officers. Rather than own the fact that they want to make massive cuts to bobbies on the beat they want to blame them for being paid.

    Nobody voted for this - call an election

  • Comment number 7.

    Overly tight fiscal policy and slack monetary policy is rapidly exposing the moral fabric of the LibDem coalition. Yesterday we saw one guy in the wheeling and dealing section of Barclays get paid £14million (quantitative easing was a gift to the finance sector) the same amount as roughly 400 police officers earn in a year, but hold on the tight public expenditure limits will mean that 10% of that 400 soon won't even have jobs.

  • Comment number 8.

    NO strike action ever succeeds without the support of the General Public

    If as reported the police can claim four Hours overtime simply for answering a phone at the end of a shift, this support will not be forthcoming

    Despite the denials of the need to cut the deficit from the usual supects the Taxpaying Public well understand the need for cuts in the public purse and the end of Government featherbedding.

    This sounds like a good plan to me

  • Comment number 9.

    The police are going to march?? I've never seen them out of their cars....

  • Comment number 10.

    It is absolutely right that aspects of police pay and overtime are looked into, I will be interested to see what the report recommends.

    The police should not be treated differently just because they may be called on to keep order during any unrest.

  • Comment number 11.

    Pre election. No cuts in frontline police officers. Efficiency savings will do the trick.
    Post election. Approx 12000 police officers to go and x thousand support workers (who have to have an effect on efficiency). Plus a 2 year pay freeze. Add smaller pensions that cost more. Change overtime and bonus (bankers are an exception it seems) pay arrangements to reduce remuneration.
    A policemans lot is not an 'appy one!
    The arrogance is unbelievable. Not even taking the precaution of keeping the internal security forces onside. Surely a tactical error. Unless there's something we don't know.

  • Comment number 12.

    I have no doubt that it is possible to make some efficiency savings in the Police Service, but please can we stop repeating spin from Home Office advisers about overtime. Given a choice as to which is a larger sum of money in the overtime budget-
    1. officers claiming 4 hrs for answering one phone call, or
    2. additional officers beyond scheduled shifts dealing with drunks on weekend, football crowds, keeping apart the far right and left on assorted marches/demonstrations -none of which I imagine are much fun to deal with.
    3. a Royal Wedding
    4. and in the last year twice dealing with men with guns running amok in our land
    I think my bet would be that 2/3/4 all greatly exceed 1.

  • Comment number 13.

    This is either courageous or naive, and I would have given the Coalition the benefit of the doubt if only they hadn't proved themselves so amateurish in other respects. Naivety it is, then.

  • Comment number 14.

    Another fine mess in the making. What happened to no more top down heavy-handed government. Seems like to very centralist solution being proposed and in the process and in spite of the propaganda the government may bring about sympathy for this unpopular arm of the local state. March 26th will see off duty policemen marching with other public sector workers being policed by their on duty colleagues (on overtime?). Will they want their Tahrir Square moment?

  • Comment number 15.

    8 UncleJom

    NO strike action ever succeeds without the support of the General Public

    If as reported the police can claim four Hours overtime simply for answering a phone at the end of a shift, this support will not be forthcoming

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Once the public is aware of how generous police pay and benefits are, there will be widespread support amongst private sector workers for curbing them.

    Guaranteed pay rises based on length of service rather than performance.
    A constable starts on £23,259 which rises to £36,519 after 10 years service (equivalent to 4.6% p.a.) before any 'pay rises'. This is what is meant by a public sector pay freeze.

    Retirement on a full pension at 50 rather than transfer to a desk job until the type of retirement age that the rest of us can look forward to.

    Can somebody please post a response about bankers' pay as I am getting withdrawal symptoms.

  • Comment number 16.

    AS71
    The facts are quite interesting when you look at them - contrary to belief a policeman's lot is a happy one.

    http://www.police-information.co.uk/policepay.htm

  • Comment number 17.

    More police in England or renew Trident?

    Take the lead from Scotland - invest in public services!

    C McK

  • Comment number 18.

    A small consideration is whether the government are proposing to tackle the 'perks' that are contractual in employment terms. As police are employed locally can we look forward to a series of class actions to ET's and county courts (breach of contract) and trips to the high court seeking injunctions and judicial reviews? Unilateral reductions in terms and conditions is full of unintended consequences but this government is expert in the latter field.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    At 10:11am on 08 Mar 2011, meninwhitecoats wrote:
    AS71
    The facts are quite interesting when you look at them - contrary to belief a policeman's lot is a happy one.

    http://www.police-information.co.uk/policepay.htm
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Looked. Wasn't shocked. Pay seems modest. The last thing that we need is any support for the 'divide and rule' tactics coming out of ConCen Office. Worth thinking about?


  • Comment number 21.

    What a great pity most of the posted posts are by A...holes who haven`t got a clue what they are talking about ........ it is quite simple really, the ONLY people qualified to talk about the Police or Policing are those who actually do or have done the job , not just for 5 mins , but for a long time and have actually managed to survive , the onslaughts of criminals , politicians , rioters , nuumerous cuts to conditions of service , disruption to family life , injury or death (usually considerable higher than most other occupations for those who obviously do not realise) etc etc etc

    PLEASE .... if you are going to comment on something , at least have some sense and knowledge of what you are actually talking about ..... the VAST majority of people would be unfit , unwilling or unable to do the job that most every day street officers have to put up with every day of their working lives and indeed it takes even a special person to be married to a Police Officer , knowing that they have to share them with their job on or off duty , the stresses and strains that the job entails often becoming greater than many can in fact stand ...... so please , if you are going to comment at least have some knowledge of what you are talking about , it appears from many if not most of the comments that most just do not have a clue , about the Police or indeed many other things , one would imagine !

  • Comment number 22.

    It's another example of this government punishing people who have been stupid enough to think that serving the public, rather than serving the rich shareholders, was a good thing to do. This raid on the pay and conditions of public workers, and the replacement of as many as possible with lower paid contractors or third sector workers, is a kick in the teeth for those who have honestly thought that working for the public good was a worth while thing to do.

    This government simply think you are gullible and fair game if you are a public sector worker. See you on the 26th!

  • Comment number 23.

    #17 Take a lead from Scotland?

    Fat chance - England does not have a benevolent neighbour from whom it can leech money like a ravenous parasite.

    Oh yes, I forgot - "It's oor oil!"

  • Comment number 24.

    18 watriler

    A small consideration is whether the government are proposing to tackle the 'perks' that are contractual in employment terms. As police are employed locally can we look forward to a series of class actions to ET's and county courts (breach of contract) and trips to the high court seeking injunctions and judicial reviews?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    They certainly need to tread carefully and one would hope that they have taken appropriate advice. It often seems to be the method by which a decision in taken or implemented rather than the decision itself which is the basis for litigation when it comes to employment law.

  • Comment number 25.

    MarkofSOSH - I think like the miners who you want to police the police march, there are none left. they would have already retired.

    Dibby Spot - Please tell me how I can get school fees for my daughyter paid, that way she would not have had to put up from stick from the children of people I have had to arrest to make the very place we live safe.

    As for the allowances there are several that I totally agree can be cut, Special payments for dirty jobs, minimum four hours pay for out of hours calls, but I have done this dirty, somewhat dangerous, totally unappreciated job to the very best of my ability and fully operational, not on restricted duties for 25 years because I accepted there is rough that comes with smooth, the smooth however was the rent allowance and pension that were the sweetner to being assaulted and hospitalised for just doing my job. Now having done 25 years I am to lose the very perks I have looked forward too in my retirement.

  • Comment number 26.

    So let me get this in my head, the government ministers all have Police close protection, they want to abolish overtime. At the end of an 8 hour shift will the protection officers be able to pack up and head off home to their families leaving the ministers to their own devices. I dont think so some how.

  • Comment number 27.

    Can we PLEASE end the myth that officers get 4 hrs overtime for answering a phone.
    At the end of a shift, any overtime is paid at time and a third, and the first half hour is unpaid. They are only paid what they work.

    On a day off, at less than 5 days notice, they are paid double time, with a minimum of 4 hrs. The guidelines specifically say that you cannot claim 4 hrs double time for answering a phone call.


    Please stop going on about overtime for answering the phone - it's an urban legend!

  • Comment number 28.

    Maybe you should stop believing everything you read. My husband has been a serving MET officer for 24 years, he does not get paid 4 hours over time for answering a call at the end of a shift, in fact he has to work the first half hour for no pay. Any over time he gets paid are for the actual hours he works and believe me, he earns his money. He does not earn enough to support a family without working over time so with all these proposed cuts we will be another family on the bread line!!

  • Comment number 29.

    No wonder the police supported the New labour project ,they were handing out money for loyalty purposes all around the place.

    So the police now how to walk let alone march,

    what do is the march , that will be a good day to go climbing and dressing up,

  • Comment number 30.

    So the bullies are now being bullied. It has a kind of poetry about it.

  • Comment number 31.

    @UncleJom and others to come. Please, can I be allowed to put right this astonishing fallacy that a bobby gets 4 hours overtime for answering the phone, either at the end of a shift or at home? It's simply not true. Now, if at the end of a night shift that leads into a rest day an officer has to stay on longer than an hour and a quarter, they get 4 hours OT and a day back. Yes, a little excessive but it stops management from abusing exhausted PC's.

    @Dibbyspot. There has been a single national radio system for many years. Keep up!

    We need huge reform, that has been patently obvious for years, but not based on ignorance and misinformation, and not such that it allows the inevitable abuse of us that senior officers will use if our overtime rights are removed.

  • Comment number 32.

    Imagine the scenario ......... you see a serious incident or are involved in one , you lift the telehone and with trembling fingers dial ... 999 ...the telephone rings at the other end , then goes on ringing and ringing , before a recorded message announces "This service is no longer in operation "

    Think it is not possible ? .......... then just continue to attack the Police , THE most abused organsiation and apparently ,now considered an "easy target" for every government , since they managed to "politicise it" some years ago , when they started to interfere in the running of Police Forces , carried out until then ,by experienced senior Police Officers who had risen slowly through the ranks qualified on both service and merit , unlike the "wannabe accelareted promotion politically appointed numpties " who now exist , who never actually wanted to do the job , but joined only on the condition of being promoted far too early , reagrdelss of their actual ability or the experience which can ONLY be gained by actually doing the job at all levels over many years ......but how many who actually DO the job will WANT to do it any more ? ..... so this "world envied" wonderful Police Force that this country once enjoyed , may not be something you will ever be able to rely on or even call on ever again ..... things are easier to break than to assemble , be warned and be afraid ......... be VERY afraid , as the saying goes and to those who knock the Police (usually btw , coincidentally ,THE first to call them , when they need them), be careful what you wish for , you might just get it !

  • Comment number 33.

    They are not allowed to strike - so what can they actually do?

  • Comment number 34.

    No 15.

    I am actually quite shocked how low that is for 10 years service cleaning up the mess in society. With regards to escalator payments I would suggest that given the cost of training a police office that the 4.5% encouragement to stay in the job is probably money well spent and the notion of introducing "performance related pay" is brought in mass to such services is idiocy in the extreme.

  • Comment number 35.

    My goodness.What a lot of uninformed comment you have received about this subject. As a serving police officer I know of no one who receives four hours overtime for answering the phone at the end of a shift. 148000 cops and 101000 police staff. What ! Almost one civilian for every one and a half cops and why are there 43 different police forces in a country the size of the UK. We need a national police force, a single intelligence system and a single managemet structure instead of each force having its own very expensive and empirical command structure. Cut our take home pay home secretary and you will push the people you will have to rely on when the civil unrest occurs, which it will inevitably will,(even Mrs Thatcher recognised that,) too far !

  • Comment number 36.

    The majority of people who complain about Police officers wages, perks, bonuses all go home and sleep safely in their beds at night. The officers they complain about are working patrolling the streets actively looking for the scum of this earth who make your life hell.
    Breaking into your cars, houses mugging ordinary hard working people. Trade places with the Police for a week and then see if you are of the same frame of mind then.

  • Comment number 37.

    20 IDBI

    I am afraid I'm not very even handed on this one - result of quite a few unsatisfactory dealings with the boys in blue.

  • Comment number 38.

    Calum McKay @ 17: Oh no not again.
    "Take the lead from Scotland - invest in public services!"
    Please do not confuse "spending" with "investment". That's what got Gordon Brown into so much trouble. On its own that wouldn't be too much of a problem but he got the rest of us into trouble with him, and we are now having to live with the consequences. And "the rest of us" would appear to include the Police. That said, having looked briefly at their payscales, they don't appear to be poorly remunerated once they have a bit of service under their belts.

  • Comment number 39.

    The only ones to complain and abuse the Police about pay, retirement, conditions etc are the individuals who were not good enough to be accepted by the Police or are too scared to do the job.

  • Comment number 40.

    I think that people are getting confused. If you cut police overtime and benefits, that is an efficiency saving. It is not a cut to the frontline.

    In most lines of work, there is the statement within contracts of employment "you will be expected to work outside of these hours where required". No mention of overtime.

    So if you say to Policemen/women, you will be expected to work outside of the hours of your shift, like the rest of the working population, and you will receive a reduction in your benefit when compared with past years (i.e. 1 phone call does not entitle you to 4-hours overtime) then that is an efficiency saving. Same number of bobbies, same number of hours worked, less money spent.

    If you, for example, reduce the number of Police by 10% and reduce the paperwork/bureaucracy in line with this then that is an efficiency saving, not a cut to frontline services. Once again, same number of hours spent on the beat but spread between fewer Police, made possible by being more efficient (i.e. you have removed waste without impacting on the service performed).

    If the Police decide not to be more efficient, by choosing not to deal with the absurd overtime rates and bureaucracy, then they have voted for a cut to frontline services.

    This is not coming from a political slant (infact I have only voted once because all parties annoy me) but from a business perspective. I run my own business and I have had to make decisions on this type of thing every day.

    You give workers the choice, they select the option and you implement the plan.

    It is what every business is doing these days.

    Simples!

  • Comment number 41.

    Whatever cuts are made to the police force, I'm sure this wont affect the legions of traffic wardens. After all, it's a question of priorities!

  • Comment number 42.

    How are we supposed to be 'all in this together' if the police are protected?

    On the day that Ed Miliband has withdrawn his support for newlabour's old policy of 'tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime' as its effect was multiple serial offenders, perhaps the discussion should be little more well balanced.

    The police have had a non stop increase in their numbers, pay and overtime for thirteen years. Are we suggesting this should continue indefinitely? Are they always worse off than the whole of the rest of society? Is society continually getting more evil so we need even more, better paid policemen as every day ticks by?

    Or is someone going to call a halt to the break-neck expansion of public services under newlabour and ask for a thorough audit of the situation?

    The latter seems a fair idea under the circumstances; those being a depleted public purse and a bloated public sector with its attendant unfunded pension scheme.

    The debate has already moved on - the cuts have to be made to public services.

    The question yet to be asked and the debate yet to be fought is how do we prevent this mess from ever happening again? Once in a lifetime is enough for most people but two bankrupt labour administrations in thirty years is more than we should be expected to suffer.

    Clearing up labour's mess (again)...

  • Comment number 43.

    Cutting frontline police is an absolute disaster. There's not enough frontline police at the moment and any plans to reduce it further is total madness.

  • Comment number 44.

    Why is it that the media are so irresponsible when reporting on public sector workers?

    It has been reported that police officers retire at 50 on massive pensions. There are some who retire at that age having contributed 11.5% of their income for a period of 30 years. This changed 5 years ago to a period of 35 years at 9.5% which is still a large amount of a monthly income. How many private sector workers pay this amount into a pension or even save it?

    As for the 4 hours overtime for answering a phone at the end of a shift; if you work over your shift, the first 30 minutes is deemed to be 'FOR THE CROWN' and is not paid. Anything beyond this is either time off if you work 15 minues beyond the half hour after that it can be paid at time and a third. 4 hours overtime is given if you work more than an hour and a half on your last night shift going into your first rest day or if you are given less than 5 days notice that you will be working a rest day, this is a very rare occurence.

    The majority of police overtime is worked at football matches. In this instance the clubs involved in the match pay the police for the day. Effectively it does not cost the public to police these events. Could it be the figures quoted in the news also take account of this type of overtime without looking at the fact it's paid for by the clubs not the taxpayer.

    Officers on the street, whether in a vehicle responding to 999 calls or on foot are very professional and public orientated service. There is a lot of paperwork and sometimes criminals don't get what they should. This isn't neccessarily the fault of the police, they are just one part of the criminal justice system. I find it very sad indeed that so many are willing to generalise and condemn officers based on what the media has reported.

  • Comment number 45.

    #42 - he's backed away from the "tough on crime" part and admitted this was the wrong approach. However, he's still pursuing the "tough on the causes of crime" part.

  • Comment number 46.

    At 10:45am on 08 Mar 2011, Larkford wrote:
    Can we PLEASE end the myth that officers get 4 hrs overtime for answering a phone.
    At the end of a shift, any overtime is paid at time and a third, and the first half hour is unpaid. They are only paid what they work.

    On a day off, at less than 5 days notice, they are paid double time, with a minimum of 4 hrs. The guidelines specifically say that you cannot claim 4 hrs double time for answering a phone call.


    Please stop going on about overtime for answering the phone - it's an urban legend!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    It's no good shouting at us! You need to shout at the Coalition spinmeisters who are putting this about aided by friends in the media. I wonder if you believed the scare stories about Benefit claimants who get 100 thou a year or the disabled that run gym classes etc. These tactics will be used over and over again until enough people say 'Enough'. Deal with our problems sensibly and fairly.
    We can be our own worst enemies.

  • Comment number 47.

    39 aberdeenlad

    The only ones to complain and abuse the Police about pay, retirement, conditions etc are the individuals who were not good enough to be accepted by the Police or are too scared to do the job

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    How is it abusing the police to suggest that their pay and benefit structure needs to be reviewed?

  • Comment number 48.

    Why is it that individuals make comments that they have no knowledge or experience of.
    Having been in the job for the past 20 years I can only echo the comments of Tomfer.
    What I would like to know how many commentators have had to face angry mobs, how many have been threatened with knives, how many have had to recover bodies from open spaces, how many have had to break the news that a loved one is never coming home again,worked excessive and anti social hours.
    The list could go on, I for one would love to know who are earning all these massive bonuses.
    The system of payment was set up over many years of negotiations and represents the restrictions and demands of the job not only placed on the officer but the restrictions in his/her private life.
    Perhaps the public would like see Officers allowed to strike and join any political party.
    I for one would never be so presumptive to walk into someones elses work place either public or private sector and tell how they should run their business.
    So if you wish to comment do so from a place of knowledge and evidence and do not believe the spin and hype.

  • Comment number 49.

    rockrobin7

    Open your eyes and look about you, knife crime is on the increase, more young males being stabbed every week, gang violence is on the increase. Some areas of this country are no go areas because the courts and government wont back the Police and the youth of today know they will not be sent to prison so they continue to commit crime.

    So lets have a go at the Police easy targets, cant strike, cant work to rule. Its nothing new the pay scales, bonuses as they call it, just let the Police continue doing their job and have the government and courts support them for once.

    The government seem hell bent on causing as much misery and bad feeling within this country.

  • Comment number 50.

    "If as reported the police can claim four Hours overtime simply for answering a phone at the end of a shift, this support will not be forthcoming."

    As a serving officer with 20 years experience I can say it is this sort of misinformation, spun by the Government and anti-police sections of the media, which has eroded any support we have left - and that is exactly what the Government are relying on.

    I have never worked with anyone who has claimed such a payment merely for answering a phone. The facility is in place to claim payments such as this merely as a means of providing some degree of protection to officers so that they are not constantly being recalled to duty when they are already dead on their feet. It is a safety mechanism to guard against poor planning and management.

    Similarly, the bonuses "merely for doing our jobs" have been reported grossly inaccurately. Officers at the top end of their payscales who perform well and whose sickness absence is kept to a minimum receive a £1000 payment over 12 months included in their pensionable pay. It was intended as a stick to improve the performance and reduce sickness in older officers and it has worked. Withdraw that payment and, whilst I do not know the figures, I would suggest the cost in rising sickness absence may well outweigh the cost of paying it in the first place.

    Additional bonuses are paid to recognise those who take on voluntary roles which step considerably beyond that of your average beat or response officers. Roles such as family liaison, firearms, those who deal daily with road deaths, hostage negotiators and many other roles all require huge extra responsibility and small bonuses recognise the fact that individuals are prepared to make what is often a considerable additional sacrifice.

    All this, remember, was brought about because you, the general public, took gross dislike to the fact that we were not paid according to performance. Now that we are, you hate that even more because it costs money! We can't win, can we?

    The bottom line here is that my wife and I stand to lose in excess of £700 per month if the full scale of these reforms comes in. And with that £700 we lose our house. All for trying to do our best for you, and because HM Government know we cannot fight back.

    If seeing two 40-something police officers homeless along with two young children seems fair to you, then I genuinely hope you get the police service you seem to want. You deserve it.

  • Comment number 51.

    With 26 years in the police service I have yet to find an officer who has claimed four hours overtime for taking a phone call at home. With many years as a Police Federation representative I have never advised anyone to do so. We are reasonably paid. That is how I pay the mortgage on a reasonable home - a three bedroom semi detached house and have a reasonable car - a ten year old Vauxhall with 110,000 on the clock. I do claim overtime when I am kept on at work instead of going home on time. The rate is 'time and a third' (although we are not permitted to claim for the first half hour) I think that is quite reasonable to claim overtime for working extra hours and I am sure many workers in Britain do likewise. Now I'm to have a significant pay cut and I face a rise in my pension contributions (the police are already one of the highest contributors towards their pensions) . . . . This is not reasonable.

  • Comment number 52.

    The same old tripe keeps getting regurgitagted - 4 hours overtime for a phone call? Never heard of anyone claiming that, even when I called an offduty officer in the middle of his only weekend off duty in 5 weeks (lovely shift pattern) and spoke with him for an hour to discuss a malicious complaint made about him.

    If I'd kept track of the hundreds of calls I'd had over the last 20 years I could have claimed many hundreds but didn't.

    I joined because I wanted to work for the community, I didn't expect to have to pay fro the privelege. I'm now looking at a real reduction in my pay but can I expect a reduction in the amount of violence I deal with on a daily basis? Can I expect to deal with less victims of crime?

    I can't wait to see who the first senior officer is with the brass neck to tell politicians their security detail is being cut in line with the cuts being made on the streets!

  • Comment number 53.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 54.

    "21. At 10:31am on 08 Mar 2011, tomfer wrote:
    What a great pity most of the posted posts are by A...holes who haven`t got a clue what they are talking about ........ it is quite simple really, the ONLY people qualified to talk about the Police or Policing are those who actually do or have done the job"

    tomfer. I'm guessing you're in the police force or very close to someone who is.

    Got a view on bankers' pay and bonuses? Bet you have. But you're not a banker, so how can you know?

  • Comment number 55.

    When powerful vested interests collide.

    That is, MP's and the Police.

    There can only be one outcome - the public lose again.

  • Comment number 56.

    "44. At 11:20am on 08 Mar 2011, GeordieDave28 wrote:
    Why is it that the media are so irresponsible when reporting on public sector workers?

    It has been reported that police officers retire at 50 on massive pensions. There are some who retire at that age having contributed 11.5% of their income for a period of 30 years. This changed 5 years ago to a period of 35 years at 9.5% which is still a large amount of a monthly income. How many private sector workers pay this amount into a pension or even save it?"


    Your point is what?

    If a private sector employee put 11.5% or 9.5% of salary into a pension, they'd get a much lower pension than a retired police officer.

    To get an equvilent private sector pension to the index linked pensions on offer in the public sector, an employee would have to contribute 27% of salary (according to independent actuarial research). That's to retire after 40 years of service, not 35, not 30. Now I'm not denying that the police do a difficult job but any idea that their pensions aren't being hugely subsidised by the taxpayer is nonsense.

  • Comment number 57.

    " If as reported the police can claim four Hours overtime simply for answering a phone at the end of a shift, this support will not be forthcoming"

    Absolutely not true. And a classic example of the negative press at the moment.

    Good pay? Yes it's not bad for those of us who work 24/7. Overtime? Most months I get none, rare to get more than 20 hours. Some of the serious crime squads earn shed loads - mainly because they've been cut back and back, until they have to do 16-20 hours days, day after day to catch the really nasty criminals that are out there, as there's no squad to relieve them after 8 hours on a surveillance operation...

    It's a dangerous job - far more police officers die than any other emergency service. Far, far more are seriously hurt. I carry the scars from various incidents over the years.

    We saw off Sheehy? I don't think so. We now work the first half an hour of overtime for nothing. Not plain time, nothing. Our pay and conditions worsened under him. Then again when Labour got in. The Conservatives were going to attack us again when they got in, the recession is an extremely handy tool for making it as hard as possible.

    We can't strike - so we're an easy target. The Fire Brigade, Ambulance - anyone else would be on strike by now.

    And Mrs Home Secretary, please don't dress it up with any rubbish that even suggest it will improve our lot. Just say it like it is. "We're cutting your pay and conditions because we can."

  • Comment number 58.

    I have a feeling that the law of unintended consequences will rear its head if this is done badly.

    If people wish to defend the current police pay system then presumeably they are arguing that the current arrangements are perfect, there is nothing wrong with them and the independent report is just plain wrong.

    I am going to assume that actually the report has identified some arrangements that probably should not have been allowed to develop. That does not mean I blame individual police officers, if there contract of employment states they are entitled to extra payments then it cannot be wrong for individual to claim them.

    Probably the best solution the govt could adopt is two fold.

    1) Each police force should be allowed to negotiate there own rate of pay. They may do this already, I do not know enough

    2) Police officers negotiate a radically culling of all allowances, extras overtime etc but in return for a pay rise - ie they get their existing arrangements bought out. Properly handled it will result in savings but police officers also feeling that they have been appropriately compensated. After all savings should not merely be a function of cutting salary costs but doing things more effeciently

  • Comment number 59.

    44. At 11:20am on 08 Mar 2011, GeordieDave28 wrote:
    Why is it that the media are so irresponsible when reporting on public sector workers?

    =============================================================

    The media have been playing to the piper's tune for many a decade now on many subjects, so you should not feel singled out but you do have my sympathy. There are only a few "real" journalists left that have the cojones or independent mindset to question the prevailing wisdom that emanates as propaganda by the ruling elites. The three mainstream political parties often backed by the nationalists have identical views on the EU for example.


  • Comment number 60.

    "the debate yet to be fought is how do we prevent this mess from ever happening again?" - Robin @ 42

    Happy to fire the first shots:

    1. Wean the public off 'something for nothing'; present the clear and honest choice between low tax and sufficient spending - stop pretending we can have both.

    2. Same for the financial sector; end their 'something for nothing' (lots for less than nothing, in fact) - implement effective regulation without fear or favour.

    Re the blog topic (the police), I support reform of the force. Course if the Coalition started to get a grip on (2) above, they'd have considerably more moral authority when setting about other (and less expensive) vested interests such as the old bill.

  • Comment number 61.

    Idont Believeit from previous blog

    Probably not the best way to express it in the use of language, as you would interpret it, that is true. The idea, however, is rather different. You select parts of the World whose population is rising very quickly and introduce policy which would in effect cut the birth rate, whether by improved education etc. As increase in population is the biggest threat to mans survival this is by far the only green policy worth anything.

  • Comment number 62.

    Police do not get paid any overtime for simply answering the phone. That is a myth. The regulations are quite clear. The reason they are there is to stop bad management from recalling officers to duty and not having to pay them compensation. Many officers already do unpaid overtime, that seems to be forgotten. I am one of many officers who have given up family life an be willing to do an "on call" rota for no extra money becuase I have skills that are are oft in demand (sexual offences investigation officer, family liaison officer. I accept that we have to make cuts. we took a reduced 3 year pay deal to show restraint. We now have a pay freeze. any further cuts will see many officers being unable to afford to work in London in the Police service.

  • Comment number 63.

    It would be great if the police officers who are offended by this turn of events can see the bigger picture. This isn't just about attacks on the terms and conditions of the police, it's about an attack on all public workers. This is just one strand of what's being done, and arguing that the police are a special case, or have a particularly hard job, or what ever is just what this government want you to do. It is trying to divide the country on so many fronts, and people are playing into their hands. Just as lies are being perpetuated about officers getting 4 hours pay for answering the phone, so lies are being spread about "non-jobs" existing or being the reason so many council staff need to be laid off. Just as the additional payments being described are exaggerated and cast in as negative a light as possible, so the tales of senior local government officer's pay being ridiculous and a simple resolution to a deficit are being spun.

    Wake up. An awful lot of us are in this together, but we're allowing lies and distraction to stop us realising it.

  • Comment number 64.

    How did we end up in the situation where heads of county police forces are head-hunted and 'poached' from each other and have to be induced with huge inflated salaries? Aren't they all doing the same job? They don't do it in the military, you don't have the head of the Somerset Light Infantry being 'head-hunted' by the Coldstream Guards, do you?

    Obviously I'm being rhetorical when I ask 'how?'. It's yet another left-over from Labour. Another mess to clear up.

  • Comment number 65.

    DibbySpot,

    All of your complaints relate to senior officers and the Home Office. Not the front line officers that this report will effect. The fact is officers above the rank of Inspector don't earn overtime. It is also the most senior officers that have created this over 'PC' regime in order to enhance their careers and promotion prospects. They have to provide evidence for their 'respect for race and diversity'. It was the Home Officer that bought the digital radio system that is more expensive than a pay-monthly iPhone, that regulates contract purchases and more.

    I am happy to see the bonuses of Senior Staff go, they are the high earners, the officer dwellers of which there is too many.

    I am happy to see the Competency Related Threshold Payment go- if officers at the top of their scale don't perform, then they should go.

    I won't be happy with a reduced rate for overtime payments. Front line officers work in unpredicatable jobs. They are frequently sent to incidents that will unavoidably tie them up for hours, just before their shift ends. Don't punish those who work hard, get rid of the Chiefs, not the Indians.

  • Comment number 66.

    At the end of the day we all want the same, a general public (the law abiding ones that is) who are happy with the Police and when have dealt with them come away feeling safe and secure. A police force who enjoy the job and feel they have given something back to society and made a difference.
    But I feel I am probably not the only one that this government is stating lies and trying to wind up the public, so that the Police will not have the support of the people if they march or complain about wage cuts and restrictions. No one wants to lose money from their wage packet and with the amount of cuts and cost of living the worst is yet to come. It does make you wonder what the government is trying to do and cripple the economy before it has even began to recover.

  • Comment number 67.

    I am an officer and I except that we have to feel the pain also with our public sector worker's.
    However we keep calling it a two year pay freeze but in reality it is a pay cut because of inflation. As for overtime we get paid to work shifts which effects our social life, for example my wife works 9-5 Mon fri and I get two weekends off in a seven week cycle. So why if the service wants me to work on my precious time off because of shortfalls in staff should I not be rewarded.
    As for the spin by ministers on officers claiming four hours for taking a phone call at home I have not come across anybody that has claimed this and I take calls at home nearly every week.
    Officers will remain be professional when they are on duty to protect and serve the people, but sadly in the modern telephone system on their day's off they just won't pick up the phone.

  • Comment number 68.

    Ultimately, the public will get the police service it deserves. Undervalued and underpaid. Maybe some of the critics commenting on this blog will volunteer to be Special Constables and hold the line in the face of the many demonstrations to come? No? I didn't think so.

  • Comment number 69.

    It is unwise if you want the police to play a counter insurgency role as they did for Mrs.Thatcher who increased their pay and conditions.

    If you want boots on the ground,or better still in people`s faces,you have to treat them right,spoil them a bit so as they`re up for anything.

    It`sa no good swinging hard right once you`re elected,breaking all your promises,without a praetorian guard of coppers who will now be sulking in their tents.

    Loosen up guys,you`re waging a *** war,(politics of envy word),get off your chariots,spare a thought for the spear carriers.

  • Comment number 70.

    60 - "2. Same for the financial sector; end their 'something for nothing'"

    And here speaks someone who claims to have made his own fortune in the city, presumably getting something for nothing. So it's OK for you but not for anyone else?

  • Comment number 71.

    Well I hope it won't, DT (41), no. Traffic wardens are unsung heroes as far as I'm concerned. Or rather under-rated, let's just say. I wish I knew one personally so I could tell him or her exactly that - I keep meaning to say it when I see one giving me a much-deserved ticket, but in the heat of the moment I always seem to forget. You think we'd be fine with less of them but the reality would be cars and their ilk parked willy nilly where they shouldn't be. Drag on the economy that can be (in extremis) - people can't get about their business.

  • Comment number 72.

    Susan-Croft:

    If we've 'lost the respect of the public' then why do we recieve more calls for help now than ever before?

    Difficult Crime I assume is Murder/Manslaughter/Armed Robbery etc. I think you'll find that these are the crimes we are very good at solving. The money and the resources are available to deal with it properly. There is something like a 98% detection rate for Murder.

    You seem to have swallowed every story the Daily Mail has thrown at you!

  • Comment number 73.

    I don't think the police will march on Theresa May's house, as most of them are Tories. Also, being a Tory, she probably has a longer drive than Jacqui Smith!

  • Comment number 74.

    In reply to Susan Croft may I first say that I pay 11 percent of my salary for 30 years to allow me to have a decent pension. There arent many occupations out there where the contributions are so high.
    Secondly you talk as if Police persecute innocent motorists. I dont suppose that you have had to attend an accident where a child has been hit by a speeding car and then had to tell his parents that their son won't be coming home. Believe me it plays on your mind for years afterwards. I am not moaning because I knew what I was getting into when I joined the job. Same as I knew what my pay and conditions were.

  • Comment number 75.

    "Crossing the thin blue line" is the title of Nick Robinson's blog.

    There are critical differences between all emergency service's salaries and benefits of employment.

    This is, I admit, put in my rather simplistic way is: who is the Paymaster of each Department responsible for each public service - whether public safety, public health or public protection?

    Naturally, we pay taxes, NI and Council Tax to provide health services, police, firefighters. It's not as simple as that.

    If your employer, as a sworn police officer, is the Home Office ... you may receive benefits that are not available to nurses and doctors who are employed by the NHS.

    This is just a tiny part of the perceived divisions of above front line public sector employees - who need to collaborate, and have a vocation for the benefit of society as a whole - yet are not treated equally in pay, benefits and conditions?

    Just a few thoughts.

  • Comment number 76.

    68 "Maybe some of the critics commenting on this blog will volunteer to be Special Constables and hold the line in the face of the many demonstrations to come?"

    Can I volunteer for a one-off on March 26? With shrill students shreiking, overweight lefties wheezing and Saga sending his apologies because it's a bit cold, that one would be hilarious to watch live.

  • Comment number 77.

    I am a serving police officer who does not recognise most of the claims made by the goverment.I do agree that shift patterns are to fixed and need to be more flexible without letting this hide incompetence by senior officers.
    Fours hours overtime for one phone call!Where do I sign? What absolute nonsense.
    All this needs is everyone to stop telling half truths and have an adult conversation.
    Some allowances should go,some changed and some kept.Lastly,I would like to see the Police Federation (not a union)put up a real fight and show why I pay my subscription.
    Off now to sort out my black eye from yesterdays shift.Still waiting for the cushy life the public school boys and girls tell me I have.

  • Comment number 78.

    I will be extremely interested in what excuse the BBC give me for why they allowed post 53 of mine to be removed. Perhaps the Police are even more powerful than we all thought.

    Obviously criticism is allowed against the public, politicians etc, but not the Police.

  • Comment number 79.

    I am a Sgt on a response team, if I lose the London Allowance, and London Weighting, I have worked this out as a 15% cut. Having done some research on the internet, it would appear cabinet ministers (god bless 'em) have have a £7,000 cut on their £141,000 salary. I am just a think copper but I've worked this out as a 5% cut...So when Miss May MP and her friends say we are in this together, what she means is I will continue to earn my nice salary and claim my expenses for travel,food,housing

  • Comment number 80.

    The cost of the police force is large but I wouldn't mind if they were efficient and always got the job done.
    We constantly hear that "small" crime cannot be dealt with as they have too much to do.
    The officers on the beat have a job I wouldn't want in a million years so why are they so thin on the ground?
    In the pusuit of criminals it seems that the information demanded by the Courts is so high that much time is wasted protecting the criminal, and the victim is ignored.
    We all (well taxpayers) pay the police but their customers are the criminals. There is no sense in the police being too successful - they would put themselves out of work. Or is that just too cynical?
    I do not believe that, however they are treated, the police would fail to protect law and order.

  • Comment number 81.

    53. At 11:35am on 08 Mar 2011, Susan-Croft wrote:
    "Cuts in numbers and benefits for the Police, will make very little impact in their ability to fight crime, in my opinion, if they get their priorities right."

    Very typical of the "know nothing numpties" I was talking about earlier ..... knows completely ZERO about the Police , but feels competent and compelled ,to make uninformed comment ...... I would hope that it was only she and her ilk , that will be unable to find an unvandilsed telephone when she needs it or receives no reply or a reply too late to be of any good to their cries for help , but the truth is , FURTHER cuts to Police Service terms and conditions of service and pay will lead to not only an immediate required reduction in numbers ,but a massive exodus from the service , of trained and qualified Police Officers , leading to a further reductions in recruitment standards , as the Police fails to attract ANYONE worthwhile to the job (hmm , is this what some want in order to actually get into a job that has already rejected them , which is the cause of their unreasoned anger and comments?), instead of CHOOSING who is good enough ........ leading inevitabley to a cessation of a public Police Service ...... leading to what ? ......... numerous PRIVATE unvetted security organistaions , working only for the benefit of themseves and those who hire them ?? .. God forbid ! , but what are the other alternatives and how can any job which is attacked so frequently and has its conditiond of service altered with every whim of every government , possibly be restricted from the right to industrial action , why should they be treated the same as or even worse than every body else , yet STILL be denied the same every day rights they have ?

    I do not know what your personal problems with the Police are , but you and others posting uninformed abusive comments about the Police ,obviously have them and it might do you more good to have those problems addressed and dealt with ,rather than trying to comment on something you so obviously have so little real knowledge of.

  • Comment number 82.

    An interesting one this. I know nothing about police officers terms and conditions so I'll refrain from judging the merits of cutting their perks. What concerns me, is that the police are an important, one might say vital, organ in society.

    True, there are time when one might deplore the heavy handed policing of protests: but we all have cause to be grateful that there is a relatively decent force to maintain Law and Order the rest of the time.

    If the end game of these cuts is a much reduced and demoralised police force then do not expect better policing: we are more likely to see more of the heavy handed stuff that people object to.

  • Comment number 83.

    Certainly can't fault internal communications in the police force, given the number of serving police officers who have suddently started blogging.

    Let's hope communications are as efficient when there's a 'blag' on at the local post office.

  • Comment number 84.

    To retire at 50 one policeman son has been paying pension contribtions of 11% since he joined aged 20, the other with British Transport Police pays pension contributions of 16%. Neither has the choice of opting out.

  • Comment number 85.

    I have done'The job' for 28years, been and policed the Miners, Tottenham riots, Brixton Riots, Poll Tax And many many violent demonstrations. Not forgetting Football Matches through the violence of the '80s. At one point there was a lot of overtime for the above. Then it was decided that if you gave enough notice you could force Officers to Police these events for normal pay by cancelling their leave ie their only weekend off a month. You know when you sign up that you dont have a normal family life, you put yourself in danger (as we are not dealing with mummy's little angels) or worse trying to protect the public. However it was also understood that the flip side were the perks gained by Edmund Davis review back in the '70s and slowly diminished to nothing over the years. Now it seems our pensions are up for grabs as well, so thanks, I wish I had done something else and dont advise anyone joining now.

    In the early '90s a Police Constable was £3000 behind an MP - basic salary, no-one knew the perks they were on at the time!!! - now look at the diffence, around £30,000. Ask yourself who is standing in front of the rioters bricks?

  • Comment number 86.

    The £3.8 billio in overtime in last 10 years is the ammunition drivig this assault.
    when broken down, it equates to £44,000 in overtime per week to police the entire country. Not bad considering the number of demos, sporting events, terrorist attacks etc etc that the police have been required to deal with OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS on top of their normal duties.
    If we are all in it together, then let the politicians etc pay a private firm for their close protection or guard their houses etc. after all their safety is no more important than the rest of ours. this wsould free officers to do real police work rather than protecting the rich elite in their ivory towers.

    The police service is different. Every other organisation can and does run away or hide behind it 'not being in their remit' or pass the buck. but the buck always stops withv the police who can't just walk away.
    Regardless of your views on the police, when it's all gone wrong, they are still there trying to keep the wheel on.
    IT is'nt the chief constables with their focus groups(Mr FAHEY) or the various partnerships or the community teams and pcso's, but the inspectors, sergeants and constables in response policing and custody suites staff up and down this country who provide the 24hour policing demands of this country. You speak to any of them and they will tell you, they are broken and weary and this latest attack on their integrity will be the straw that breaks the camels back.

  • Comment number 87.

    Not really okay for me either, Andy (70), I so wish I'd done something else. But you can't turn the clock back - if only. Still, it does now allow me to spend quite long hours offering and proffering my thoughts on here, so I guess that's giving something back. Certainly some general benefit accruing, I'd like to think. From my efforts. I know you think so, for example. And one or two others do. Susan, for sure.

  • Comment number 88.

    "74. At 12:07pm on 08 Mar 2011, apeeler wrote:
    In reply to Susan Croft may I first say that I pay 11 percent of my salary for 30 years to allow me to have a decent pension. There arent many occupations out there where the contributions are so high."

    first have a look at my post 56.

    Then consider how the current economic unrest has affected your pension pot. Of course, it hasn't. You're on a final salary scheme, try getting one of those in the private sector.

    Like I said, the police do a difficult job but, please, don't try and say your pension is somehow expensive in comparison to the private sector because it isn't.

  • Comment number 89.

    42. At 11:08am on 08 Mar 2011, rockRobin7 wrote:

    
"The debate has already moved on - the cuts have to be made to public services."

    ----------

    ^... and that's precisely where you and other Tory supporters have a surprise in store, Robin.

    The debate hasn't even begun on public spending cuts, because the cuts themselves have yet to bite. That will happen next month; and that's precisely when the proverbial is due to hit the fan.

    Trust me: the press and public will be debating the (il)logic of rapid cuts right up until the next election.

    And after that, they'll be referring to the "mess" that the Tories will have left us in by then.

  • Comment number 90.

    In opposition David Cameron was very fond of the phrase "Broken Britain". Since he came to power he has been very quiet on how he intends to address crime. We have heard that there will be major cuts to the police, the prison service, the probation service, the Citizen's Advice Bureau and the local councils that provide various schemes that try to prevent crime in the local community. The number of unemployed rises month on month and the coalition brag that they will cut benefits whilst the cost of living escalates as they let inflation rise unchecked.

    Was this what David Cameron meant when he talked about mending Broken Britain?

  • Comment number 91.

    Listening and reading these entries about the Police and what is needed to solve issues. I have retired after 30 years service and now moved into another business. Cuts are facing all aspects of our life, no one can be complacement. The Police Forces are already looking at issues on how staffing and how resources are deployed. Let them solve the issues it appears from the press that government is driving the pressure. From being on the inside, all officers want to do their part with everyone else to solve these issues. Ask the workforce for solutions, they will come up with the most suitable processes which the public will be reassured by and maintain confidence The Police will protect and serve the public. Be supportive and they will deliver.

  • Comment number 92.

    We have all been told that savings need to be made - Presumably then the government will be looking at the perks, allowances and expenses paid to its own government ministers and Members of Parliament.....

  • Comment number 93.

    "Jacqui Smith who faced a police march and protests at her home when she refused to backdate a police pay award"

    Actually, she got into trouble not because she refused to backdate the award, she got into trouble because she refused to abide by the arbitrator that she was supposed to have been legally bound to. It wasn't so much the money, it was the fact that she didn't stick to what had already been promised/contracted.

    Saying that you refuse to stick to the rules that you'd already agreed to is very different to saying "going forwards, we don't think we should be paying police officers for a full shift's wages just for spending 30 seconds on a phone call when they're about to go home"

  • Comment number 94.

    It has become very clear to me in the past five years that there is a major differnce in the disposable income of our Local Police and the Local residents.
    People like me, who live near a medium size Police Station see and note the high end and recent registration of both cars in the main staff parking lot and those leaving the one behind the Police Station. Majority of those , are 2008 or newer! Local residents have much older cars, like Fords and vauxhalls.
    One of our local Police Officers commented that he bought a holiday home in Wales with his severance package and had money left over...The payout was non taxable too.
    There is a pay divide...which needs correcting.

  • Comment number 95.

    "81. At 12:11pm on 08 Mar 2011, tomfer wrote:
    53. At 11:35am on 08 Mar 2011, Susan-Croft wrote:
    "Cuts in numbers and benefits for the Police, will make very little impact in their ability to fight crime, in my opinion, if they get their priorities right."

    Very typical of the "know nothing numpties" I was talking about earlier"



    Tomfer, with your conciliatory and understanding tone, I'm going to guess you must be in community liaison?

  • Comment number 96.

    54. At 11:35am on 08 Mar 2011, AndyC555 wrote:
    "tomfer. I'm guessing you're in the police force or very close to someone who is.

    Got a view on bankers' pay and bonuses? Bet you have. But you're not a banker, so how can you know? "

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Wrong ......... WAS in it , now one of those "lucky retired overpaid cops" , who earned far less than is currently paid when he worked , but then many are in that psosition , I would say Police pay is possibly oveall NOT any better in the end relatively ,but over paid the same amount in pension which was even more then than others paid and which at the time had a lower return ratio to that paid than "private pension schemes" , which have since unravelled due to the greed of bankers etc. whom Police have had course to investigate on more than one occasion , not to mention corrupt politicians.

    Reason retired ...... serious heart condition incurred from a virus which could have occurred as a result of one of the many occasions I was assaulted in the course of duty , including stabbing , hit with sledge hammer , shotgun pulled etc etc. If I am "lucky" at all , it is that I was lucky to have survived to retirement and be unable to enjoy the many perks and benefits enjoyed by others ,due to the pension I paid for, in more than just cash alone , like so many other ordinary officers , who didn`t get bonuses , medals or knighthoods etc.

  • Comment number 97.

    Having served 10 years as a paramedic, I've seen the reality of police work at first hand - being beaten up, stabbed, shot at, abused, covered in vomit, the list goes on. This is not an "ordinary" job - and not one most people are capable of doing. How do you fancy pullng dead children out of wrecked cars or dealing with a derranged killer with a knife?

    As will all three emergency services, this takes a toll on the body and the mind - we cannot expect people doing these jobs to go on to normal retirement age - most by 55 become a risk to themselves and the public - they have to retire.

    So to simply state that they receive better renumeration than the private sector is not comparing like with like - if you want to find comparisions in terms of risky and wearing occupations, you'd need to look at the extremes of the oil industry or private security staff in war zones. What sort of money do these people make? A hell of a lot more than the police do.

    At a time of impending civil unrest as many people's living standards plummet under the impact of imported inflation as the Pound sinks and the impending oil crisis hits all aspects of daily life from driving to food and energy costs, taking out large numbers of police personnel is a risky strategy - and demoralising them by attacking their terms and conditions of service is not going to motivate police officers to hold the line if things get really bad.

    If there is a massive recession and those on the receiving end be they students, public sector workers or just the poor, I could see the police being hard pressed to stop the sorts of incidents we saw arund the poll tax and the storming of Tory Party HQ - indeed, we might well get back to the no-go areas of inner cities we saw in the 1980s in Toxteth, Brixton and other areas.

    ACPO needs to decide where it stands on these issues - with its police officers or with the libertarian "roll back the state" ideologues in the Tory Party.

    Whilst the government has borrowed heavily to support the banks, it also has a massive asset in the shape of the £86 Bn worth of bank shares and loans it owns and its share of the profits from them - so is it really essential to adopt this slash & burn approach to public services?

    It looks like socialism for bankers - and anarchy for the rest of us - but isn't that where "smashing the state" leads you anyway?

  • Comment number 98.

    james 72

    James I can assure you I have had many dealings with the Police over time. I went from supporting them, to realising they do not do their job properly. It is personal experience which gives me this knowledge, the same is true I suspect of most of the public, not newspapers. Furthermore, it is actual cases which inform us of the massive mistakes made by the Police not newspapers.

    The Police no longer have the confidence of the public at fighting crime, nor do they have the respect from the public that they used to enjoy. This is of their own making, not propaganda by anyone.

    I don't read the Daily Mail or any newspapers, so I have no idea what their take is on this issue. However, you obviously do, otherwise how do you know what they say. If as many people read this newspaper, as claim others do, it must be the most read newspaper in Britain.

  • Comment number 99.

    #49 and other much of the causes of crime with young males and young females is due to Absent fathers a policy that new labour encouraged.

    no amount of police offciers will change that. You have to bring back the meaning of fatherhood

  • Comment number 100.

    "84. At 12:17pm on 08 Mar 2011, jas44 wrote:
    To retire at 50 one policeman son has been paying pension contribtions of 11% since he joined aged 20"

    Just had a quick look at what a police pension is. On the older scheme, which a majority of serving officers belong to, you got a 2/3 of salary pension after 30 years service, index linked. So, someone on (say) 30,000 a year would get an index linked pension of 20,000 at age 50.

    A £730,000 pension pot in the private sector at age 50 would buy you an indexed pension of £19,635.

    Do you know many people working in the private sector who, after 30 years of working earn £30k a year and have a pension pot of £730,000?

 

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