The Police Federation might regret upsetting 'Kittens' at their annual Conference a couple of weeks ago. There was nothing in her speech to the Conference to suggest that there was going to be any change of tack by the Government. Little sign of listening or negotiating regarding the future of policing in this country.
The Federation heavyweights wrote a pretty acerbic e-mail to the Policing Minister, Nick Herbert and copied it to all MP's. His response is pretty blunt in political terms. It can be summarised as 'get stuffed.' He has certainly got his knickers in a twist regarding the suggestion that Tom Winsor's report was not independent.
Mr Herbert states that Tom Winsor wasn't even aware that other members of his legal firm were advising G4S with regard to their bid to take on a range of policing services. Really? A number of people claim they knew nothing about phone hacking. Does anyone believe them?
The most disingenuous part of Mr Herbert's letter is that he states Winsor is not about privatisation of policing services. This is laughable. It is true that Winsor doesn't actually mention privatisation. Why would it? That would be being honest with the public and likely to lose votes. Winsor will put in place all the building blocks necessary to privatise almost the entire service. Put this together with the European tender that all Police Forces have signed up to, except Derbyshire, to privatise most areas of policing in this country and you can see where it is going.
On another note, ACPO PLC gets almost half its funding from the Home Office and half from the Police Authorities. It does also make a fair chunk of money from selling CRB checks. Police Commissioners mean the end of Police Authorities in November and that stream of funding for ACPO is likely to go.
Head of ACPO, Sir Hugh Orde. Looking for a job in November. Police Commissioner?
In return for all that money, ACPO provided the Government with their wisdom and advice in all policing matters. ACPO has broadly supported the Governments reform program. Their evidence to Winsor included the advice that constables could be paid less, but Chief Officers should be paid more. It appears ACPO have been following the Governments agenda like a bunch of lemmings heading for a cliff. The Government feels it can now do without ACPO's advice and get that elsewhere. From November the Home Office funding of ACPO is going to stop, effectively closing ACPO down. It appears that ACPO are not quite so keen on change now and a couple of other Chief officers are now expressing concerns with regard to the reform agenda and privatisation of policing services.