Winsor review delivers on Cameron speech

Tom Winsor’s review of police pay and pensions has been accused of lacking independence after a speech delivered by David Cameron in 2006 appears to mirror a number of recommendations that have been made in the review.

Apr 12, 2012
By Dilwar Hussain

Tom Winsor’s review of police pay and

pensions has been accused of lacking independence after a speech delivered by

David Cameron in 2006 appears to mirror a number of recommendations that have

been made in the review.

The Police Federation of England and Wales

(PFEW) spoke out against the former rail regulator’s proposals again after a

speech made by Mr Cameron came to light in which he called for police reforms

including enabling chief officers to dismiss police, reward skills rather than

just length of service or seniority, scrapping current pension plans and

introducing a flexible police service in which “professional experts” can enter

the service on direct entry from various backgrounds.

Simon Reed, vice chairman of the PFEW,

said: “The Police Federation on behalf of the 136,000 officers we represent

entered into the negotiations on the Winsor proposals in good faith. We

believed that Winsor would be true to his word and we hoped he would produce an

independent report. Now that we have had time to examine the Winsor

recommendations in more detail it has become abundantly clear that Tom Winsor

was always working to the Prime Minister’s own agenda. Can it just be an

almighty coincidence that all 180 of Winsor’s recommendations have been

accepted by the Home Secretary? We don’t believe so.”

Mr Reed accused the Government of lying and

said that Mr Cameron’s 2006 speech practically mirrors Mr Winsor’s recommendations.

He said it is “abundantly clear” that police reform has never been for fiscal

reasons and that it is based on ideology.

“David Cameron clearly stipulated back in

2006 that we needed reforming for reform’s sake and now he has conned the police

service and the public by masking his reform package and selling them as

independent recommendations,” he added.

In his speech, Mr Cameron said: “The need

for police reform is clear. The question is what is the right direction for

that reform to take? My view is clear: it’s time for a fundamental shake-up of

policing in this country.

“First, police forces must be made more

accountable to local communities. Second, police pay and conditions must be

modernised to ensure much better police performance. That means, amongst other

things, making it easier to sack bad officers.”

Other points made by Mr Cameron included:

Transferring routine administrative tasks to police staff thereby “freeing

officers to tackle crime”; scrapping the national policing plan and all of the

associated “apparatus of central control”; paying officers for skills,

competence and performance; introduce flexibility in pay and conditions; and

reforming police pensions.

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