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We’ll keep up pressure on officer assault sentences

2016 Police Federation Conference, Bournemouth, Dorset, Jason Bye, 17/05/16West Yorkshire Police Federation will keep up the pressure for new sentencing guidelines for people convicted of assaulting a police officer.

Chairman Nick Smart asked Home Secretary Theresa May at the Police Federation of England and Wales Annual Conference if she would change sentencing guidelines for officer assaults – and was disappointed with her response.

He said: “I thought she gave a political answer. It wasn’t a firm no but it wasn’t a confirmatory yes either. She’s agreed to look at it with PFEW Chairman before Steve White and I shall be pushing him and the Federation to do this at a national level while I keep doing it at a local level.

“She had an opportunity to support the service, protect the protectors, stand by us as she’s previously said at conference. I didn’t think she really took that opportunity, so I think there’ll be a lot of cynicism around her motives.

“But if she comes good and involves us in the process and the negotiations and we get a change in legislation, I’ll be the first person to take my hat off and say ‘well done’.”

On the issue of officer pay, Mrs May refused to be drawn on whether she would take the recommendation of the Police Remuneration Review Body if it passed on the national Federation’s suggestion of a 2.8% rise.

Nick said the proposed 2.8% rise for officers would be the difference between living and existing.

He said: “You look at what’s gone on over the last six years, it’s a 15% pay cut. What’s been proposed now is a below inflation pay cut again. It’s the difference between living and existing. It’s about time that if you want to retain and recruit then you have to pay people. We’re asking for a sum that will recognise that we have had some hardship and we do need to be paid appropriately.”

He added that he thought the Home Secretary would see her legacy as the “breaker of the Federation”.

Nick said: “She will see herself as a reforming Home Secretary. The reduction in bureaucracy is a nonsense – we’ve still got as much bureaucracy because you can streamline paperwork, you can have more IT, but you still need a cop at the end of it to do the business.

“I think she’ll see her legacy as the breaker of the Federation and reformer of the police service, but not always for the better.”

Date posted: May 25, 2016

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