It seems i overlooked the most likely response from my regular colleagues, a march on Whitehall. We have done it many times, and its most effective.
One of the reasons i am proud to be a police officer, is that my colleagues have a great sense of responsibility, and loyalty to the public. We don't want to strike, because it will effect the public. We are concerned about the cuts, because it will effect the public. We do overtime, because the public need us. The public pay us to protect them, and i think its fair that police officers are paid a good wage. I know that a lot of people would disagree with me, but i don't think its anything to be ashamed of that my regular colleagues don't want to have their pay cut. As a member of the public, i want those charged with protecting me to earn a wage to support their family, have a holiday, have hobbies, and generally be well rounded individuals. A well rounded and happy police officer, is the police officer i want on my doorstep in my hour of need.
However, i did start yesterdays post largely agreeing with the Winsor report. I stand by that, reforms are needed. From reading the report in more detail, i think it unlikely that the government will adopt it in its entirety...how they implement the reforms will be make or break for Theresa May, and David Cameron. Cameron has aligned himself very closely to these reforms as he considers them to be unfinished business from his time as a Special Adviser to a previous Home Sec. This is a very brave, or stupid, move as it has been almost 30 years since politicans have successfully reformed the police service without getting their fingers burned.
I reiterate that i will stand side by side with my regular colleagues during any strike, or any march.
The next report we need to keep our eye out for is Part 2 of the Winsor report, which will be about streamlining and efficiency in practical policing and policy. Some predictions;
- Centralised specialist units, such as murder squads, drug squads, civil contigencys and other highly skilled detective policing.
- More shared services between forces such as Human Resources, Recruitment, Firearms, Dogs and Mounted section.
- A national police uniform to save money on procurement. I am certain that Winsor will notice the importance of a service identify, and we wont see our force badges being replaced by a single police service badge.
- Limited vehicle procurement. At the moment every force used different types of vehicle. It would be dangerous to force all forces to use a single type of vehicle, as this would leave us vehicle-less should the model be recalled. But i expect he will suggest the home office approve a pool of 4 or 5 types of patrol vehicle from which forces can choose. The same done for high spec vehicles for traffic, armed response etc.
- Rank reform...he would be stupid to recommend rank reform, because police offices are dead against it. The two superintendent ranks are where reform is most focused, with Chief Super being removed. But these ranks are important as a transition phase within which to equip future Chief Constables with the skills they need to lead a force.
- National Police Improvement Agency...its important to have the NPIA coordinating training policy. We need to have the same standard it training across the country, but i suspect the NPIA will be disbanded and replaced with something centrally. Will he go so far as having a central training strategy, implementation and recruitment unit for the whole country? I see it as a distinct possibility...and i can see many advantages of such an organisation.