Examination of Witness (Question Numbers
11 January 2011
Q1 Chair: This is
the first session in the Committee's inquiry into police finances.
Our first witness is Paul McKeever, the Chairman of the Police
Federation. Welcome, Mr McKeever.
Good morning, Mr Vaz.
Q2 Chair: Could I
refer everyone present to the Register of Members' Interests,
where the interests of the members of this Committee are noted.
Are there any interests other than those that are needed to be
Mark Reckless: I
would like to specifically declare my membership of the Kent Police
Q3 Chair: Thank you.
The Police Federation, Mr McKeever, published a statement at the
end of last year in which it said that you all expected that 20,000
police officers would lose their jobs as a result of the new spending
cuts. Is that still the case? Is that still your expectation?
Yes, it is. We're expecting to lose at least 20,000 officers over
the next three to four years due to the financial situation that
the Government finds itself in, and police forces find themselves
in, as a result of the budget that we've been given. It's based
on what's being said within forces, on what's being reported to
us by our 43 branch boards around the country, so it's pretty
sound as far as we're concerned.
Q4 Chair: How many
of those would be frontline officers as opposed to those doing
other tasks? We will of course explore back office functions a
little later on in this evidence session, but are these bobbies
on the beat or are they just generally to go by natural wastage?
It's right across the whole piece. There's no particular area
that's been targeted. What seems to be the general trend at the
moment is that forces are looking to lose as many officers as
they can through natural wastage and where they can't the first
port of call they're going to is regulation A19a provision
whereby if the force feels it is necessary to lose members of
the force it can do so once an officer has reached 30 years' service.
Clearly, officers who reach 30 years' service will be performing
a whole range of different functions. They tend to be the officers
who have the very high skill sets that are required in a modern
police service. They tend to be the officers who have the experience
that you rely on when you're going through difficult times and
yet they are the ones, I think, who are going to be lost first.
Q5 Chair: We'll come
to that regulation in a moment. You mentioned 20,000 police officers.
Do you have any estimates as to the number of PCSOs or support
staff that will also be lost as a result of these proposals?
Yes. When most forces talk about losing police officers they then
also talk about losing police staff numbers, and most forces give
a higher figure for police staff than for police officers. There
will be more police staff going than police officers. Clearly
what that will mean is that those jobs and those functions performed
by police staff will have to be performed by somebody or stop
being done. Clearly those functions will be performed in part
at least by officers who are performing other functions at this
moment in time.
Q6 Chair: What kind
of functions? What functions do you think a serving officer would
not do at the moment that as a result of the cuts they may have
to do in the future?
It would be some of the back-room analytical functions, it might
be front office staff in stations. I know some forces are looking
to lose staff there. It's the sort of role that perhaps you would
expect a police officer to perform in years gone by that's become
civilianised over the years. It might have to revert back to a
police officer, or we might have to change the way we do business
in terms of keeping police stations open.
Q7 Chair: There was
a reportI think at the end of last yearthat suggested
that at least half of the police stations in the country might
close. Do you know of this report and do you think it is an accurate
I don't know, but all bets are off at the moment and chiefs have
a very difficult position to deal with, a very difficult budget
to deal with. Clearly, selling parts of the capital estate, losing
police stations, is one avenue that they might go down. I don't
know what the exact figures would be, but certainly I'm sure it's
something that the police chiefs will be considering.
Q8 Mark Reckless:
I understand that the Police Federation is not a supporter of
my Bill to allow police officers to be made redundant, but you've
just said the likely effect of making half or more of the redundancies,
of the loss of people through civilians, will be that highly skilled
police officers are moved into roles that are currently being
done more cheaply by civilians. Does that make any sense?
It doesn't if you think that the cuts should be made primarily,
or first and foremost, among police officer numbers. We don't.
We look at other areas of the police service where you have civil
staff and say that the cuts should be made there firstPCSOs
for example, who aren't as flexible as police officers. We also
think that there's still a case to be made for perhaps revisiting
the overall budget cut and perhaps deciding it wasn't what it
should have been.
Q9 Mark Reckless:
But surely the cuts for any given reduction that's needed should
be made in a way that is most productive and efficient for policing
rather than in a way that protects people who happen to be your
I agree. One of the frustrations that I think we have throughout
the police serviceit's not just us in the federation; people
talk about it privatelyis that we seem to be doing it the
wrong way around. We are making the cuts and then looking to create
a model, rather than actually deciding what the model is and then
making the cuts afterwards. It seems that the model is going to
be formed by the cuts and that can't be the best way forward,
because when I listened to Bill Bratton, who came over recently
and was a guest at Policy Exchange, he was saying that there are
going to be some real unintended consequences to what is happening
in this revolution in policing. Those are his words, not mine.
It's a very high risk strategy that's being undertaken. We wish
the Government well, we hope that whatever policies followed by
any Government are successful, but it's our position to point
out the risks as we see them.
Q10 Mr Burley: I
just want to pursue the point about the mixed work force a little
more, because the Minister for police is on record saying that
he thinks a mixed work force is the way forward for the police,
but certainly speaking to my constituents over Christmas most
of them are very surprised when you tell them that a PCSO can
be made redundant, a police staff member can be made redundant,
but on joining the force a police officer has a job for 30 years
and cannot be made redundant. It's about the only example I can
think of in the public sector of a job for life; you cannot make
a police officer redundant. Hence you come into the issues of
A19 and disproportionate cuts falling on staff and PCSOs because
you cannot make a police officer redundant. Don't you think that
it is time we reformed the office of constable so that that anomaly
no longer stands in the 21st century?
I will deal first of all with the status of the police officer
and how you can get rid of them, if you like, if they're not performing.
There are clearly written provisions in place, which allow you
to go through unsatisfactory performance if an individual officer
isn't performing to the standard that is required of the service.
I think you'll hear more from Peter Fahy and Chris Sims after
me when they give evidence to you in relation to that. There are
provisions where you can get rid of unsatisfactory or underperforming
In terms of the status we have to be careful
that we don't throw the baby out with the bath water, by changing
the status of a police officer. It's for a very good reason that
you have the independent office of constable where we can't be
influenced or pressurised to act in a way that we shouldn't be
acting, and we are there for the best reasons, for the citizens
and the communities that we serve. I think you start to get into
the politicisation of the role of the office of constable, and
I think it is very dangerous once that starts happening.
Q11 Mr Burley: I
don't see the logic in that, because the extension of that argument
is therefore that police staff and PCSOs are able to be politicised,
but police officers aren't. I think most people would find the
idea that PCSOs are in some way politicised a bit strange. Surely
you could maintain the office of constable and all the protections
that you have talked about but just say that in a mixed work force
it is only fair and equitable that everybody has the same terms
and conditions. Therefore the one thing that we would take out
of the office of constable is this job for lifethat you
cannot be made redundant, as I understand it, other than for gross
misconduct. Those are not the same terms and conditions as everybody
Chair: We will explore
some of these a little later, so brief answer.
I understand exactly what you're saying and I can understand the
logic in it as well. You talk about the non-politicisation of
the civil staff and the PCSOs. We'll have to wait and see what
the outcome is of some of the union action that's going to be
taken later in the year in terms of strikes and political action,
with a small "p", that will be taken by those unions
and members of police staff. I think that might illustrate the
very reasons why we need to preserve the office of constable.
We don't want to take that sort of action.
Q12 Chair: Do you
anticipate that there will be? I remember marching with you against
the last Government over their pay increase, and it was a very
large demonstration. Do you think that the police officers themselves,
because of these cuts or these proposals will be taking to the
I don't know. Certainly there are no plans in the short term.
There are a number of reviews going on. We're taking an active
part in those, we want to work through those before we decide
where else we go. We're very grateful for your support in our
march last year
Chair: I'm not sure the
last Government was.
But no, we don't have any plans at this moment in time, but don't
rule anything out at all.
Q13 Chair: So it's
possible it might happen?
It might happen again.
Q14 Lorraine Fullbrook:
Thank you, Chairman. Mr McKeever, Lancashire Constabulary's headquarters
are in my constituency of South Ribble and the Lancashire Constabulary
recognise that they have to change the mindset and culture to
pay and conditions, which they believe need to be updated, particularly
with regard to overtime. What would your comments be on that?
Interestingly, we always come back to overtime. We are an emergency
service and the clue is in the namewe deal with emergencies.
By the very nature of the work that we deal with there are going
to be peaks and troughs in what we do. Surely the best way to
reward somebody if they're performing additional duty is to pay
them for the duty that they perform.
The size of the overtime budget has come down quite
dramatically over the last two or three years. I think it's come
down to just over £300 million a year. You also have to go
back to when I joined the service in 1977 and look what happens
when you do reduce police numbers considerably. When forces are
stretched, it becomes more important that you have the flexibility
to put officers where they're needed, at the times they're needed
as well, over and above their normal tours of duty. It's a cheaper
form of paying them than if you have to employ other people to
do that job, because you haven't got all the additional expenses
that go with employing somebody, the training, the recruitment
and everything else that goes with it.
Q15 Lorraine Fullbrook:
So you would not agree with Lancashire Constabulary that they
need to change the mindset and culture for pay and conditions?
I think that it's worked very well for the last 30 years. We've
had a very stable situation for the last 30 years and the question
I would pose is: why change something that has worked well over
the last 30 years? We've asked chief officers what is the problem
with the regulations and they can't come up with any specific
examples. Those that they do come up with tend to be very weak.
Q16 Chair: Do you
anticipate crime will rise as a result of this?
You can't say definitively that crime will rise. You can't say
that. But there seems to be a correlation. I draw your attention
to the Civitas report from last week, which draws a correlation.
It is not an exact correlation, but there is a clear trend in
the relationship between police officer numbers and crime. I know
there was a spatif I'm allowed to use that term; perhaps
a discussionbefore Christmas between Ed Balls and Nick
Herbert, the police Minister, over whether there is a direct correlation
between police officer numbers and crime going up or crime going
down. I think one said that there is a correlation and the other
said it is not a simple correlation, or there isn't a simple answer
to it. They are both right. There are a number of factors involved
in crime going up and crime going down. However, I think anybody
would say that police officer numbers have to have some sort of
effect. You only have to look at New York, which is a comparator
that is often used by Government at the moment, to see that where
police officer numbers have started to fall over the last year
or two, violent crime is going up in New York. Rape, murder and
robberies are up over the last year or so. It is something we
have to take cognisance of.
Q17 Dr Huppert: Can
I move back to issues about regulation A19? It seems there is
a position, which I suspect the Federation takes, that no police
officer should ever be removed from post ever. But if we were
to assume for a moment that there was some reason why there might
be a need to reduce the head count in a particular force of police
officers, if we take that as a premise, it seems to me that you
can either make redundant people who have done 30 years' service
or people who have done less than 30 years' service. Early on,
you were making a strong argument, I think, against regulation
A19, saying that people who have done 30 years' service have some
of the most experience and the most involvement. Isn't the logic
of your position that you ought to be keen on Mr Reckless's Bill
as a way of providing an alternative to getting rid of very experienced
officers? Ultimately, surely the question is which officers would
one have to reduce the number of?
If the police service was staffed wholly by police officers I
would probably be following your argument wholly, but the police
service is not staffed wholly by police officers. We are a percentage
of the work force, and in some forces, in excess of 50% of the
work force are police staff members. They do not give you the
resilience that you get from a warranted police officer. A warranted
police officer can work in a whole range of different areas. If
you employ a police staff member they are much more limited in
what they can do. When we go into more volatile times, and I think
we are, you need that flexibility within the structure to be able
to deal with those emergencies and situations that arise that
we have a responsibility to deal with.
Q18 Dr Huppert: I
realise you speak for warranted police officers, so you are coming
from particularly that direction. My constabulary in Cambridgeshire
has some extremely experienced civilian staff who they are very
concerned about having to lose precisely because there is no way
of adjusting the number of police officers. Do you accept at least
that PCSOs and civilian staff can have a very important role and
build up a huge amount of experience, and are often a lot cheaper
than having warranted officers doing the same job?
Yes, I think there has perhaps been a misrepresentation of our
position in relation to PCSOs. We have nothing against PCSOs individually;
they do a good job, they joined the job and the service for absolutely
the right reasons. They are public spirited and public hearted
and a lot of themin some forces up to 60%become
fully warranted officers anyway. So we never, ever look to denigrate
PCSOs. But the actual functions they perform could be performed
better by a warranted officer.
Q19 Dr Huppert: Have
you done any proper studies on how effective PCSOs are compared
with police officers, given their different costs?
No, we haven't, not within the Police Federation.
Q20 Mark Reckless:
Mr McKeever, you rightly identify the historical route of the
anomaly whereby a police officer can't be made redundant. It was
held that there wasn't a sufficient degree of command and control
because you have some independence of arrest, and perhaps search
and some discretion. But the law develops. Are you not aware that
MPs used to also be in the situation of not being considered to
be employees, but following litigation in the 1990s from a Mr
Gibson in Norwich, that is no longer the case? Are you seriously
saying that, for instance, the Conservative Whips have a greater
degree of command and control over how I vote and what I do than
your Chief Constable does over what you might do?
I don't know how the Conservative Whips whip you, so it would
perhaps be wrong of me to make comment on that. But chief officers
have a great deal of control and authority over their forces and
perhaps they should exercise it more than has been seen in the
past. The controls are there, they are there already and the levers
are there if they want to use them. I think perhaps because they
are so consumed with so much elseit is an extraordinarily
complex and difficult role that they are performing, we must never
forget that, and we are focusing on one area of it at the momentit
is a difficult role for them to perform, but they do have the
levers there. I think the problems come further down the command
system. It is recognised, I think in most organisations, that
the problem comes around about the middle management level within
any organisationgetting them to understand and accept the
ethos that you're trying to get out there.
Q21 Mark Reckless:
You appear to be an employee, you can be told what to do in most
areas by your senior people, surely you are an employee in the
same way MPs were judged to be so.
But in the most crucial areas where we're dealing with people's
liberty and independence when going about their lawful business
we cannot be told what to do. We cannot be directed. We are not
militaristic. If you look at the way police services have formed
over the years in Europe, there are a couple of very good comparators.
If you go to the south of Europe it tends to be the Napoleonic
system where police services are bolted on to the military side
of Government. They are directed; it is a very different style
of policing. Certainly in north-western Europe it is a very different
style of policing. We are attached to the Home Departments of
Government and we are, in this country, based on discretion. A
lot of the problems that have emanated in the perception of policing
over the last few years have come out of the fact that officers
have been restricted in using that discretion to a degree. If
you allow officers to use discretion and common sense in the office
of constableallow them that independence of thought through
the office of constableyou gain so much more.
Q22 Steve McCabe:
Mr McKeever, we touched earlier on the question of pay and conditions,
and you mentioned your views on the overtime case. The CSR says
that there will have to be changes in pay and conditions, and
that's one of the savings that the CSR is premised on as far as
the police are concerned. What changes to pay and conditions have
been planned as far as you and your members are aware? What benefits
do you see accruing from that and what concerns do you have?
There's an awful lot in the question. We've given a very full
response to Tom Winsor who is carrying out the report into the
pay and conditions of police officers and police staff across
the country. It's a very detailed and substantial report that
I can make available to the Committee, if you'd like to have it.
Steve McCabe: Please.
I don't think I can go through all of the 50 or 60 pages here.
Q23 Steve McCabe:
Sure, but on the key points, what changes have been flagged up
to you? What major concerns do you have and are there any obvious
benefits? That's what I want to know.
The areas where there is talk of changeat the moment it
is talk of change only at the moment because we have to wait on
the outcome of the reportare in relation to that 2% of
the police budget that was taken from the police budget and where
we created, or where the PMB created, special priority payments,
competence-related threshold pay and bonusessmall bonuses
for officers if they perform some particularly high standard of
duty. It must also be remembered this isn't money that was given
to us additionally, this was money taken away from the main pay
pot, and it is in those three areas that we're talking about,
or where discussions have taken place, in relation to diminishing
We've always been against bonuses from the start.
We have said it should be part of the police pot. You shouldn't
be joining the police service with the expectation of getting
a bonus. Nobody who gets a bonus as a federated member goes to
work thinking, "How can I get a bonus today?" The sort
of bonuses we're talking about are not the sort that you get in
the City of London or elsewhere. You get perhaps £100 here
or £200 there for some extraordinary act of braverydisarming
a man with a knife, perhaps. When you look at the type of bonuses
that are given, and the number of bonuses that are given across
the country in a typical stationsay London with 700 officersperhaps
20 or 30 might get a bonus in a year, so quite a tiny fraction
of officers ever got those little bonuses. We don't think they're
appropriate, we don't think they're right and it doesn't motivate
officers at all. It should go back into the main pay pot.
The sort of effect it is going to have on police
performance will be limited. I think it's part of a much wider
picture where there is demoralisationI use the word very
specificallyin the police service, where there has been
a denigration I think of the police over a number of years and
it is culminating in some of the reports that are being undertaken
at the moment. There's a real nervousness.
Q24 Chair: Denigration
by whom, Mr McKeever?
I think in the press, mainly. If you look at the press about some
of the things I touched on earlier about use of discretion and
Q25 Chair: Not by
politicians or Ministers?
I can't think of specific examples of politicians or Ministers,
no. It is mainly through the press.
Q26 Steve McCabe:
I just wanted to clarify this. When the CSR talks about the need
to modernise pay and conditions, I understood that to mean that
they wanted to have some fairly major changethere is an
expectation that somehow money has not been used appropriately
or could be used better. Has anything been flagged up to you yet
suggesting a fairly major change in the pay and conditions that
you and other police officers can expect?
Apart from the ones that are going to take place anyway, such
as the suppressing of wages through the two-year pay freeze, and
perhaps paying additional moneys toward our pensions, everything
is still being talked about at the moment. That's why we had the
review of pay and conditions that Tom Winsor is undertaking. It
was a very short time scalewe had four weeks to respondbut
that is all contained within his report. As he says, everything
is being looked atabsolutely everything.
Steve McCabe: Thank you very much.
Q27 Lorraine Fullbrook:
Mr McKeever, Lancashire Constabulary are asking themselves, "What
can we do to change?" By removing the bureaucratic top-down
controls from Whitehall, the Government is giving chief constables
the flexibility to best decide how to police; for example in my
constituency and other constituencies. Can you give specific examples
of savings you can see in bureaucracy?
Can I say first that we welcome very much what the Government
is doing in terms of getting rid of some of the unnecessary bureaucracy
from top down? It's something that we've called for ourselves
for a number of years. In terms of specifics, I think we have
concentrated too much on specifics in the past. Most of those
have already been identified through the report carried out by
my predecessor, Jan Berry, when she looked at bureaucracy in the
police service. I'm not going to revisit those.
What I will say is that there are three main
areas you have to look at when you look at bureaucracy. The first
is that we have to have some sort of bureaucracy, because we are
accountable. We are in a democracy and in any proper democracy
the police have to be accountable. Any police officer who thinks
otherwise is probably in the wrong job. So there's going to be
some recording and accountability.
The second is changing the culture that we don't
say no to other organisationspartnership organisationswho
impose bureaucracy on us: "Here's a four-page report we want
you to fill in before somebody is transferred as a prisoner",
that sort of thing. We don't take an active part and say, "No,
we're not going to do that". There has to be much more of
a change in that sort of culture. We have to recognise that we
are there and that what concerns the public is the quality of
the work we do, not just the quantitative aspects of it. We don't
get letters written to us saying, "Thank you very much for
the way that you recorded my crime within your statistics, it
was fantastically well done," but we do get letters saying,
"Thank you for the way you dealt with me," and we have
to remember that. It is not by chance that we have inspectors
and superintendents to inspect and superintend. We have to get
back to that. That sort of supervision is better than a bureaucratic
form of supervision catching you out post-event.
Q28 Lorraine Fullbrook:
In terms of the quality of policing that is delivered, do you
think that will still be able to be done?
I think with the sort of freedommore freedomthat
officers are getting, in terms of discretion from this Government,
yes, those sorts of standards can be raised. I do. Because people
will then realise they're being dealt with for who they are and
not to tick a box in a form somewhere else.
Q29 Chair: Have you
heard of those reports where a local John Lewis store is assisting
police officers in how they should deal with customers?
Q30 Chair: Do you
welcome this approach?
I think you can learn from anywhere and it would be arrogant to
say that we can't, in the police service, learn from other organisations.
It's important to understand how organisations work and John Lewis
are an excellent example to look at; they are recognised as being
first rate in the way they deal with the people they come in contact
with. We don't do badly either, I have to say. We get a lot of
criticism about the number of complaints we get, but
Q31 Chair: It is
certainly suggested that the more you have to deal with the police
the lower they are in the estimation of the public. Is that not
I think that's probably because the sort of situations we're dealing
with people is when they are in extremis; they are in a very difficult
situation themselves. Perhaps they expect more of us than we can
sometimes deliver. They're going to have to get used to that a
little bit, I think.
Q32 Mr Burley: There
is considerable scope in terms of savings on procurement. The
historic 43-force model has led to little fiefdoms to try and
get the best deal on cars or uniforms or Blackberries, or whatever
it might be, for their force. In the best examples, they may do
some procurement with some forces around themone or twoto
share buying motor vehicles. But I'll just run an idea past you:
were all procurement for the main goods and services for the policeuniforms,
cars, IT and so ondone centrally through the Home Office,
on an approved catalogue that police forces could choose from,
and the Home Office had a responsibility to get the very best
deal from national suppliers, who would then get to supply all
43 forces so the economies of scale would be greatest, do you
think that would lead to some significant savings in terms of
what the police have to pay companies for those goods and services,
which is often hugely different throughout the country, and clearly
some forces are not getting a very good deal?
I agree with that wholeheartedly. I wouldn't want to follow the
exact model perhaps. I look at procurement within the Ministry
of Defence, which is centralised, and there are problems there,
so it's not an exact model we would want to follow. But certainly,
yes, you can. We are not businessmen, we are police officers first
and foremost, and if you look at some of the procurement that
we've undertaken in the past in a piecemeal way across forces
we have been rolled over on occasions. So yes, it could be done
Q33 Chair: Do you
find that your members, if they make suggestions as to how to
save money, are listened to as far as those suggestions are concerned?
I think it's still too much centralised. We are an organisation
that has a command structure and I think there is a change of
culture needed where you listen more to the people who have the
answers on the ground floor. There have been some very good examples
in the NHS that I've seen and I think we could use those examples
in the police as well. Listen to the people who are doing the
job; we are the practitioners, we are the ones who understand
what the wrinkles are and the problems out there and we often
have solutions. That's what my members do.
Q34 Mr Winnick: The
report which you probably know aboutthe Inspectorate of
Constabulary, Valuing the Policemade the point that
a lot of funding is diverting from essential police work to inspection
and I'm just wondering whether in your view there is any change
in the inspection regime that could save money.
Yes. We hold Sir Denis O'Connor in very high regard indeed. He
is a man who has a real understanding of the police service and
he has come out with some excellent reports over the last year
or two. When he speaks we do listen. We think that perhaps the
HMI could be more intrusive in their role. There is perhaps a
touch of the old gentleman's agreement in the way that it's performed
in the past, where you get notice that HMI are going to be turning
up well before they arrive and carry out an inspection. I think
that sort of thing could be looked at and perhaps changed to get
a truer picture of what's going on in forces.
In terms of inspection, we shouldn't be too
heavy-handed. We have to let people get on with the job they're
doing. The world will go on without statisticians creating tables
and graphs and goodness knows what else. We have to remain focused
on what we are there to do, and that is to deal with individuals.
Q35 Mr Winnick: The
drawback I suppose is that since there were very adverse reports
about the police, such as the Birmingham Six case, Guildfordsomething
that has very much emerged in the last day or so and I hope to
ask the chief constables about it shortlythere is a feeling
that oversight and inspection has not been carried out to the
extent that it is at the moment and there may well be a feeling
that that is not serving the public either.
First of all, I don't think oversight and inspection would have
changed what happened before I joined the service, in the cases
you referred to, and I am one of the oldest serving officers in
the country. So it's historical from my policing perspective.
That has to be remembered too; we shouldn't be blamed for perhaps
what happened under our predecessors' care and control.
In terms of how you could change that, I think
it has changed an awful lot over the last years, but it's having
that intrusive supervisionhaving real frontline intrusive
supervision at sergeant level, ensuring inspectors are there to
inspect and superintendents are there to superintend. That will
get rid of the sort of problems that have perhaps been there in
the past. We should also be ensuring that we are completely open
in what we do. If you go back to the '70sthe cases you
referred toit was a very different police service. I joined
in 1977. It is very different today in terms of the openness and
the way we deal with the press and public and everybody else than
it was in those days. I'm not saying it couldn't happen again,
but I think it's less likely to. We have to maintain that supervision
there. It's not the higher level inspection of strategic processes
that changed that.
Q36 Chair: Your membership
is what, at the moment, Mr McKeever?
It's around 140,000.
Q37 Chair: You say
the proposals will mean a cut of 20,000 police officers. This
presumably will have quite a big effect on your membership.
It will, and you have to take into the equation the factor that
the population has risen quite considerably over the last few
years and the per 100,000 number of police officers will fall,
if we lose 20,000 today, to a level per 100,000 below what it
was in the very bad days of the 1970s when the police forces were
stretched greatly. We have to bear that in mind.
Q38 Nicola Blackwood:
Could I just ask quickly, Mr McKeever, if you've been consulted
by the Home Office about the savings which will be required and
how best they can be made?
In terms of bureaucracy?
Nicola Blackwood: In terms
of bureaucracy, but in wider terms as well.
In terms of pay and conditions we had a four-week consultative
process that took place prior to Christmas. That is being published
shortly; we are expecting it to be published shortly. There's
also a review by Peter Neyroud that we weren't consulted on greatly
to do with training and leadership, which we're disappointed with.
The review into pensions, yes, we are actively being consulted
in relation to that.
In terms of bureaucracy per se, I think that
we have the opportunity to speak to the police Minister on a fairly
regular basis and occasionally to the Home Secretary as well.
So the door is open. Is it open as much as we would like? We're
going to say no. We would like it to be open more, but I guess
you hear that quite often around this table anyway.
Q39 Chair: Mr McKeever,
thank you very much. Can I thank you on behalf of the Committee
for all the help that the Federation has given in the past as
far as our inquiries are concerned, and we look forward to visiting
the Federation in a fortnight's time. Thank you very much.
I very much look forward to it, Mr Vaz.