The Winsor report on police pay and terms and conditions was published yesterday.

I was interested to read the reactions of two “grass-roots” police bloggers.

First, PC Bloggs who writes:

“If the Winsor Review is implemented in full, I will be less well off to the tune of about £1200 after tax, which when allowing for inflation of 5%, is significant, but not devastating.  However, the real issue that police officers have with the approach to reform is the attitude that it is acceptable to cut perks without giving anything in return.  Here are some ways that reform could both give as well as take away:
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    1. If rest day working with less than five days notice is reduced to time-and-a-half (from double time), regulation could be changed so that officers can refuse to come in with less than five days’ notice for anything less than a national emergency.  Having the rule about double time has forced forces and the court system to plan ahead, which is the main benefit for officers.
    2. Bank holiday pay could be similarly adjusted, but forces failing to plan their bank holiday staffing six months in advance should have to pay a higher rate.  Christmas and New Year staffing should be organised the January before, with volunteers requested before enforced working is implemented.  This would penalise those forces that constantly shuffle staff around at short notice and fail to remember when national holidays are until a few days before.
    3. My next suggestion was going to be about replacing Special Priority Payments with bonuses for those who genuinely work antisocial hours and are exposed to daily confrontation and unpleasantness, but Tom Winsor’s already thought of that.
    4. Housing/living allowances could be means-tested (although it could be more expensive to means-test than just to pay everyone).
    5. Inspectors – who don’t get overtime – should have strict rules on the number of extended shifts and cover shifts they have to work, and forces should be made to implement these fairly across all inspectors rather than weighting the hours to those on response.
The above wouldn’t please everyone, but it would seem fair to the public.  Here are some more ideas that could also be implemented, that might change ACPO’s view on the “antiquated” overtime rules:
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    • All superintendents and above should have to work a shift in custody every month and a shift as duty inspector.
    • All superintendents and above should have to attend a domestic every three months and do all the relevant paperwork.
    • All superintendents and above should have to phone CPS Direct once a year for a charging decision. 
The problem with police officers jumping up and down about pay is that the Federation have consistently failed to jump up and down about bureaucracy and injustice, and the public are unlikely to have much sympathy.  Why should you care what the officer is being paid who turns up to arrest your twelve-year-old for a schoolyard scrap?  Or gives you a penalty ticket for chasing yobs out of your back garden?
Young front-line officers are still being pressured by management to police in a way that massages crime figures and props up the PDRs of senior ranks.  Our performance measures have not changed, regardless of what the Home Secretary may claim.  Until the police put up sterner resistence to that, no one’s going to jump on our pay and conditions bandwagon.”
And second, Inspector Gadget:
“I believe that it is a monumental piss-take, bordering upon treason, for any government to renege on the pay and conditions for any worker, let alone emergency services workers and others who tirelessly provide societies safety net.

The arguments in favour are so easily destroyed with the simplest logic that it’s really an insult to even put them forward. For example; it’s either pay cuts or job losses. This argument when we face something like 28,000 job losses! This argument could be put forward ad infinitum until we all work for nothing at all.

Using the few lazy or unproductive officers as an excuse to penalise 140,000 personnel is nonsense. Has anyone suggested that MP’s take a pay cut because so many of them are bent or useless? Or how about cutting all nurses pay because some elderly patients have been maltreated?

The reality is simple. Tories regard us as the servant class. The Magistrate blogger once referred to me as ‘below stairs’. This sums up their attitude. These kinds of people only ever meet us when we have caught them drink driving or speeding and they hate us for it. Enforcement is for other people. They don’t see the starving children of an Albanian crack-whore at 3 o’clock in the morning, no one spits blood in their face or rams their vehicle at 40 miles and hour.

Anyone prepared to sack serving soldiers by email (I know the Army did that but the culture comes from the top) or bin our nation’s fighter pilots just before they receive their wings, or announce 11,000 redundancies to troops serving abroad in harms way is clearly not going to give a seconds thought to emergency service workers.

It is about time we sorted out the fact that keyboard rattlers, weekend-free merchants and officers too grand to listen out on the radio get paid the same as those who put themselves in harms way. But that can be done without the pay cuts as represented by increased pension contributions, pay freezes and job insecurity.

The only silver lining to all this is that we will outlast them all, it is bound to go wrong at some point and despite the rantings of a small minority of frightened, jealous or bitter losers, the vast majority of the public support us and understand that all the talk of ‘no more money’ is nonsense. There is plenty of money swilling around in certain quarters of this country. It’s how you choose to spend it, whether you choose to collect the billions in tax that is really owed and what you perceive to be important.

I have served this country (and continue to do so) both in green and blue, under The Crown. The one thing Debbie fears every time I’m on duty is a knock on the front door by a senior officer and the Chaplain. I do this in return for a pay scale and a pension. Now, after taking my service, they want to renege on the money. I don’t expect or need any sympathy. It’s shameful and they know it. Hiding behind a small number of wasters doesn’t cut it.”

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