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I don't think the scale of the pay rise is the issue. The issue is that the agreed rise has not been back-dated. The government's position is indefensible. A discussion about the general performance of the police is a diversion, probably best left until the back-dating issue is resolved.

We have to be a little careful here - things aren't so binary as you appear to suggest. It's not just a "with-em-or-against-em" argument. I'm not at all sure that David Davis would have given them the pay rise in full, and nor do I think his comments suggest that he would.

The real crime in all this is that the government went into full arbitration to decide how this pay agreement should be resolved, and then simply ignored the outcome when it didn't like it. That is what signifies a total contempt for the police officers: if the government could only accept one outcome, then it was disingenuous to go to arbitration at all.

If a government simply can't grant a payrise, then they owe it to the police to be upfront and honest, and explain why it will not be paid. That is treating people with respect.

I for one see a case for curbing public sector pay awards, maybe even starting with this one, but having agreed to go into arbitration, Jacqui Smith should have accepted its outcome. Her chosen strategy is as dishonest as it is politically suicidal.

A friend's work vehicle was recently legally parked by the side of the road while he made a delivery. He had flashing warning lights on the cab and visibilty was good for an early morning in December. A car ran into the back of his vehicle and smashed it to pieces. The driver was clearly drunk - even at 7-30 in the morning. The police attended, eventually, and said there was nothing they could do as they had run out of breath testing kits! It was the 21st December!!!! My friend lost all his Christmas business as his vehicle was written off.

Let them strike - and then let the ex-miners police the picket lines. Could be fun.

I'm not sure about the pay rise but I cannot support the use of 'earnt' rather than 'earned' in your headline.

I cannot see how the police can complain. As an industry, they have benefited more than most from Labour's politically correct spree since 1997.

Set aside for just a moment the obsenity of an additional 25,000 glorified lollipop ladies...sorry Community Support Officers.

The 'real' police- Height/weight restrictions gone, physical capabilities not as important, educational qualifications no longer of relevance. All done to comply with Labour's P.C Agenda, namely that we are "all equal". Stupid, uneducated people are a lot easier to order around as well.

We have now got the police force we deserve, and the one we are willing to pay for. Not a very good one.

Sorry johnC!

What has been demonstrated is the inability of this Government to negotiate and act in good faith. How can they now be trusted on any matter?

Of course the government must honour a pay award arrived at by a pre-agreed arbitration mechanism. Not to do so is just another example of the contempt with which Labour regards public servants. It sees them as devices for target-delivery, not professionals.

The problem for the police - for the beat officers out there - is that they are lions led by donkeys. And until we are in government, and can implement Nick Herbert's excellent and much-needed legislation, we won't be able to sack the donkeys. (I know it's a cliche to say "I've no problem with individual officers; it's the managers' fault", but I'm speaking as someone who's been mugged twice (I mean for real, not in a ConHome comment section) and the response of the officers who helped me on both occasions was everything you'd want from a police force: efficient, determined and very, very human).

What we can do before we're in government is to euthanase, career-wise, some of the most egregious donkeys. Starting with Ian Blair. I was very disappointed that not one of our mayoral candidates made it clear that his or her first act as mayor would be to sack Blair. I don't care if the mayor lacks the detailed machinery to make this happen: if the elected mayor refused to work with Blair, the Home Secretary would have to get rid of him. In the days running up to Christmas, when I wrote my column for CH, twenty-six London children had been murdered. By New Year's Eve, the death toll had risen to twenty-seven. I've lost count since New Year's Day. Blair is a devious liar who acts as the armed wing of New Labour, and any Tory who thinks we can do business with him is in danger of not seeing the wood for the trees.

As Praguetory points out at 16.31:

"The issue is that the agreed rise has not been back-dated. The government's position is indefensible".

That is the crucial issue; in addition, you could note that the pay deal in Scotland has been implemented in full, which will irritate our police force (sorry "service") and we might also discuss what the actual rate of inflation is and compare and contrast the police award with MPs' impending pay rise.

And as London Tory notes:

"We have now got the police force we deserve, and the one we are willing to pay for. Not a very good one".

Quite so. When we are back in power, we will need the police and armed forces well onside and we should look after them well.

The police are worse than useless. Let them strike. I wouldn't feel the slightest bit less safe as a result. I stay safe by being careful; I sure as hell don't count on the police for help.

The police force would deserve no pay rise if we were allowed to defend ourselves in our own homes from burglars, rapists and murderers without threat of prosecution for giving them a malicious paper cut. Crime figures would fall dramatically.

The fact is that they were promised it and the Govt backed out - therefore they should get it as guaranteed. Governments should not backtrack on firm commitments (*cough* referendum *cough*)

Personally I'd give the Police nothing, using the money to employ half-a-dozen hangmen and buy nooses and black caps for judges but that isn't going to happen regrettably.

This thread confuses two fundamentally distinct questions: do the Police deserve a payrise (A:No, PC nonsense, corruption, loss of trust and failings mean they need to re-establish public confidence first) and should the Police get a payrise (A:Yes because they were promised it).

The police force is one of the last unreformed public sector industries. We should set up competing private police companies to compete for local community security contracts.

The issue as Prague Tory states is one of Government fairdealing than anything else.
Whether the police have 'earned' this (2.5%, hardly big) pay rise is irrelevant they were promised it and should have it. The issue of effective management of the police is entirely seperate.
Like every other large organisation there are good and bad police officers, I wonder how many of those who criticise them would be willing to do what they do everyday for the fairly measly rewards they receive.

MoralM: are you proposing returning to the days when householders had a plaque on the outside of their houses showing which firefighting company did their "insurance"?

But ...last unreformed public sector industries... Spot on. Get rid of Ian Blair and the other middle management PC-fixated spokesdroids.

That is the first realistic way to start making progress. If we were serious about improving the Police then David Davis should already have a draft of Ian Blair's dismissal letter on his computer ready for delivery on Day 1.

I am relieved to see that this has not entirely turned in to a venomous rant against police and relaying various experiences with policing speeding/daring to eat while on duty etc etc.

Inside police stations at the moment there are officers genuinely anguished over this position. We owe it to the next generation of recruits to make it clear that we can't be just pushed around and treated like a poitical football, but the only avenues apparently open to police (in theory, illegal of course to discuss any industrial action) would appear to be those which would punish the public- who, regardless of how it may sometimes appear, are the people who most police joined to desperately try and protect. Whether these officers find themselves now doing this may be another matter, I couldn't speak for them all.

I don't think that I, or any of my colleagues have ever said we deserve a 'big pay rise'- I would echo the comment by another poster that while we are subjected to a certain amount of criticism, I do wonder exactly how many of the people who try to berate us would realisticaly be able to go in to work- be screamed at, deal with and detain violent and often mentally ill people, take children in to protective custody, wipe spit out of your face, and then come back in again for their next shift.

I am not saying I deserve to be hero worshipped or that the police are without fault, but I can certainly speak for the rank-and-file when I say that those of us whose existence is often questioned as we are apparently so rarely seen, are desperately trying our hardest to do our job in the same way that we imagined doing it when we turned up for training school on out first days. We will continue to work with that same determination regardless of how we are treated, and thist is the unhappy truth; The Government knows that the police are generally made up of individuals who have joined and stayed in the job to try to struggle against the tide and make a real difference, no matter how often they are kicked when down by the Government, or even the public, they will bite their tongue and carry on.

I have no doubts that will continue to be the case, and I welcome a debate on policing in this country, but I would ask you to resist the temptation to believe we are greedy, lazy or all politically-correct robots. I work with some of the most committed people I have ever met, and every single day when I go in to work I do it because I want to make a difference for my community.

When you remove all the line charts and the bitter debate over public service pay, you are left with a police force which is running a low on morale but which comprises many officers doing their absolute best and asking in return is for the support of the public. I can certainly say that personally, nothing matters more to me than that. I'd take 1.9% and reform in whatever way was necessary in return for a sharp increase in public support and for us to reconnect again with our best friends; The man in the street who plays by the rules and needs us there to help him in times of need.

Good post Anon copper. I, and I suspect most of the people who read this blog are very grateful for the work you and the majority of your colleagues do.

Moral Minority "The police force is one of the last unreformed public sector industries. We should set up competing private police companies to compete for local community security contracts."

How would this work with a complex and very technical investigation at national or international level?
If this policy is thought through, you need to give us more detail please.

Regarding their pay review - in a low inflation economy that we wish to remain so, a low rise might well be justified - provided the government doesn't waste billions elsewhere on a list far long to detail, over tax people, and almost literally wreck the private pensions industry.

Why not exempt the wages of Police, the military and other key public sector workers from Income Tax - that would be a sizeable rise in how much money they were getting, savings could then be found on social spending and taxes and spending would fall as a figure simply by not recycling money paid out in wages.

I like the points David Belchamber made.

The Tories can and should pledge the back-dated element of the pay if the government continues to dig its heels in.

It's not inflationary (by that token train fares shouln't be rising by 5%) it's not expensive (£30m) and it's a practical measure that shows that we stand for fair-dealing.

I have never understood why we have to be "grateful" to the Police. They choose to do the job. They are presumably aware of the risks involved, in the same way that they are presumably aware of the perks involved like free travel, subsidised housing, and a gold plated pension.

I pay taxes to pay their wages, why should I therefore be grateful if I have to, on occasions, consume a service I have paid for? I am not grateful to the shop keeper when he sells me a Mars Bar.

If they don't like the job, they should leave, and test their skills in the private sector market place. There are a vast number of people willing to replace them, as the recruitment of PCSOs has demonstrated.

I am grateful to the police London Tory because they sometimes have to do a very difficult job in quite appalling circumstances. To compare the work they do to a shop keeper is ludicrous. I assume you're very young.

I am surprised that the opposition is still fooled by Labour spin after all these years. The dispute we in the police have with the Government is not about the money. The original index we have been tied to for years would have given us 3.3%. You will not see us moaning that we did not get that. We agreed to the new index that we are being moved to (one that is on the way down when the one we have been on is now going up) but asked for a balancing figure to compensate for the move. That made our claim about 3.9%. Arbitration gave us 2.5%. Do you hear whining that the arbitors gave us so much less than either of those figures? Of course not. We accepted the outcome of the arbitration. As other commentators have said, this dispute is about the Home Secretary's failure to honour that outcome - not the difference of a few hundred pounds of backpay. The leaked correspondence between the Home Secretary and the Chancellor reveals the extent of the duplicity in stark detail.

This government has now broken the covenant it has with the police in the same way that it treats our armed forces with contempt.

The argument here is the fact that the Goverment entered arbitration along with the Police Federation. The arbitration came up with a figure much lower than the Federation wanted but no one complains as we entered arbitration knowing that we would accept the outcome. The Goverment did not abide by the arbitration. We cannot strike so the only option open to us is arbitration. If the Goverment dont abide by arbitration then that is no longer an option. We need another option - to strike?
London Tory - The Country does not just get Policed by the Met! I have never recieved, and am not entitled to, subsidised housing or free travel! I pay 11% of my own wages (which I also contribute via my taxes)for my pension, which is why it is good. The pension scheme has now been changed, by the current Goverment, and is no longer so attractive for new recruits. Anne Widdecombe and London Tory - Please get your facts right!

@K Alld- in other words, you are like much of the rest of the working population then, so why the self pity?

@Malcolm Dunn- sadly I am not "young", although I fail to see what that has got to do with anything. My comments are based on first hand experience of seeing how policing has evolved (or regressed) over the last 20 years. This includes first hand experience of the Metropolitan Police's H.R procedures, and Training Centre at Hendon in North London. I am not sure how much experience you yourself have of policing, but the calibre of the average recruit /P.C in London these days is quite atrocious. Some can barely speak coherently. Much of this can be put down to Labour's obsession with driving down standards, so that no minority group (short/fat/old/unqualified) is barred from joining the Public Sector gravy train.

As a colleague recently remarked to me:

"I had the privilege of a private education, and I have never understood why anyone of any intellect would wish to join the police force".

Bravery is another red herring put up by the Jan Berry's of this world. I know several time serving career coppers (one inspector, one P.C) who went through 30 years service and received just a couple of bumps- and spent a third of that service in 'office duties', where the biggest risk was receiving a paper cut. Throughout these 30 years, particularly under us I regret to say, they received above inflation pay rises.
It was only the (mistaken) debt of gratitude Maggie felt she owed the police after the Miners Strike that prevented her from getting stuck into this monolithic titanic of an institution.

The British Police in 2008- Donkeys Led By Careerists.

London Tory - I do not have any self pity. I am trying to argue against a very unjust and untrustworthy decision. If the Goverment had been open and honest from the outset then my frustration would not be so great.

I hope that not all Torys are the same as you, just as I am an individual, along with all my colleagues, throughout the Country. We are not perfect, neither are we all bad. I would never post anything so insulting or offensive to anyone, particularly if I did not know them. However I recieved my Education, whether it was state or private, I always maintain my respect for others. Please have some respect.

As johnC points out - there is no such word as 'earnt'

I am grateful that people such as yourself are in the minority- only because you have demonstrated anapparently stubborn determination to believe the police do not masure up and that you will use this opportunity to try and bait the officers posting on this site in to reacting and point to this reaction as evidence of our alleged lack of intelligence which you quite offensively allude to when your 'colleague' has commented that he does not understand why anyone with intelligence would join the police.

I ave a good degree from a respected University, about 60% of my intake at training school had degrees, and in a few cases they had qualifications beyond this. That is not a group of morons who have stupidly decided to join the job, it is a group who have their own motivations- in my case as I have stated before, to try and make a difference (I imagine the same motivation lies behind the people who post on this site as to why they have an avid interest in politics).

You say officers get through their careers with 'a few bumps' which is to so grotesquely misrepresent the reality of life as a police officer that I am tempted to dismiss your entire post as so ill-informed that it is not worthy of response. I will respond nonetheless because I am still concerned at the possibility of people actually believing what you have posted is true.

I encourage you to apply to the special constabulary. Do that job for a while, you will be immune from all the pay dispute of course. You come back on here 6 months later and tell me that you never feared that you were about to get badly assaulted- God forbid it ever did actually happen- because I can promise you it is a very regular occurance.

For the poser (possibly yourself agai) who stated that they don't understand why they have to be grateful for the police; You don't. I don't expect people to throw confetti in the air and slap me on the back as I walk down the street, I don't expect sympathy either, and I don't *expect* your support without doing anything to deserve it.

However, for you to dismiss us as not warranting our promised pay rise, not being brave, and being effectively thick grunts is far from being neutral, it is a bitterness- you can say we aren't good value for money or we do things wrong; You are the public, you are our bosses, but please do not question our determination, dedication, and my colleagues bravery- because I have witnessed all three on many occasions.

I have great sympathy with Anon Copper. As Praguetory pointed out early on in this thread, the government's stance is quite indefensible. The police should get what they were promised.

The arguments about whether or not we are well served by our police sre important - but they are a quite separate issue.

The country needs a highly motivated and dedicated police force (not "service") right now with binge drinking, drugs, rising violent crime and threats of terrorist attack to contend with.

Now is not the time to antagonise them.

What the tories should be doing is (i) to do what David Davis says of a conservative government:

"A Conservative Government would have treated the police fairly, honestly and openly – and with the respect they deserve."

(ii) they should use the experience of people like Anon Copper to rethink the paperwork that keeps the police at their desks instead of out on the streets.

Then maybe, when we get back in, we can, with the help of the police, start to restore order and decency in our society.

Anon Copper:

As a Tory, I accept that every word you assert is absolutely correct. Many fellow Tory bloggers are either ignorant, or have no experience working in the police service. As a member of the general public, I feel far more reassurance by the presence of PCSOs and the implementation of Recommendation 61, which is the recommendation regarding stop and search, which has help to build public confidence in the police service. I have a degree of personal experience volunteering and assisting the public, both experiences were very positive.

As part of the ongoing public discussion about policing, I feel there clearly need to be mechanisms in place to encourage police officers and civilian police staff to take the opportunity to contribute to this process by making their views, concerns and ideas known to the public. This is not a one sided debate, where only politicians should have the right to express their opinions on policing. Even if their opinions are inaccurate or misleading.

In terms of anti-terrorism, I fully support the Metropolitan Police and other police forces in their efforts to crack down on extremism, militant forms of Islam, and those who divide our communities. Particularly where I hail from, for instance, there were militant groups openly preaching. However, these groups were successfully removed by the police. So the police should be commended for everything they have done.

Furthermore, under the leadership of Sir Ian Blair, Commissioner of the Met Police in London, we viewed the rolling out of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams, where every London borough had their own neighbourhood policing team. This again, I must emphasis, has contributed to the reassurances the police seek to provide. Furthermore, PCSOs provide a more approachable service, which contributes to building trust in the Metropolitan Police Service.

I fully support Sir Ian Blair too. Great man!

Good comment Anon Copper.

'Sir Iain Blair great man!'. You're taking the mickey right? Blair is despised by most policemen I know in the Met.

Malcolm Dunn: The impression that you provide about confidence and trust in Sir Ian Blair is absolute nonsense!!!!!! Officers have full confidence in their leader, even all the BME, LGBT and faith associations within the Met.

Who are your friends in the Met? What are their names and where are they based? What unit? It could easily be checked......................

Mash: Who are your friends in the Met? What are their names and where are they based? What unit? It could easily be checked...

Like the credentials of "Mash", I suppose...?

I don't disagree with the sentiment of *some* of your comments in your prior post, Mash, but - and I'm not a Londoner - some of the credit for the neighbourhood policing of individual wards and boroughs needs to go to our excellent councillors who I understand have pushed very hard for this.

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