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THE CHAIR ASKS


were in for a pay rise - even with the higher pension contributions they would make. I’ve been severely criticised for being a


‘pension thief.’ I wasn’t responsible for the pension side, that was done by John Hutton, the former Defence Secretary. Another thing people have attacked me for is for calling police officers ‘blue collar workers who clock on and clock off and are just like factory workers.’ I didn’t say that. What I said in my second report was: ‘For


too long policing has been unfairly regarded by many as an occupation of an intellectually, largely undemanding nature, with more in common with blue collar work for skilled manual workers who clock in and clock out’. I said that is unfair. It is manifestly not true that police officers are like blue collar manual workers. I was saying the opposite. I was condemned for saying something I hadn’t said. As far as the recommendations are concerned, I could have gone further. However, I didn’t see any point in coming up with a review that was so radical that it would just collapse and not get done.


4 Examine the current funding formula and 43-force model


JA: At that time, policing was not a priority for the Government of the day. When your review came it felt very personal, and I think that’s why you suffered the backlash. But staying with reform and structure, I’d be really interested on your views on the current funding formula for policing. We believe this is out of date and not fit for purpose – it needs wholesale review. Also, during this pandemic the 43-force model has been shown not to be as good as it could be. What are your views? STW: Neither is fit for purpose as things stand. As far as the funding formula is concerned, it does create some significant disparities across the country. To remove these inequities there would be some winners and losers unless the Government puts in more money. If the cake is the same size, and you are going to divide it differently, some people are going to get a smaller piece. That is one of the extraordinarily difficult things politicians must face. I think it is a perennial problem and I don’t see it being fixed any time soon. I hope I am wrong, but I think it may be in someone’s ‘too difficult’ pile. As far as the 43-force model is concerned, when it was first devised in 1962 and fully implemented in 1974, policing


“The 43-force model might have been fit for the 1970s and ‘Life on Mars’ – but it’s not suitable now”


was hugely different from what it is now. Means of transport and communications were light years away from where they are now. The sophistication of most criminals was significantly less than it is now, as was the technology of the day. So, the 43-force model might have been fit for the 1970s and ‘Life on Mars,’ but it’s not suitable now. There is this pressure to redraw the map


completely, and to create perhaps nine, or even seven very large Forces. There are two principal problems. One is that the big Forces will still have operational boundaries. Those big boundaries could still operate as barriers. When you go into a massive reorganisation like that, there is a colossal distraction of the leadership, the management. This can involve protecting territory and turf wars, struggles and skirmishes, rather than the outward facing stuff of looking after the public and catching the bad guys.


A way needs to be found to get


Forces operating as a single system without redrawing the map. The answer is the network code, which is a 43-force collaboration agreement which effectively establishes a system of qualified majority voting. This achieves a single system operation without redrawing the map.


5 National Police Memorial Day and wearing a uniform


JA: On the funding formula, I couldn’t agree more. We have system that is simply not fit for purpose and it is long overdue for reform. With regards the 43-force model, I think doing nothing is not an option. But now I want to go back to 2013, when you attended the National Police Memorial Day, a very emotional day for policing. You wore a uniform like a senior officer, and the anger and outcry from policing was palpable. What are your views about your decision to wear the uniform, and the reaction it provoked? Any regrets? STW: I’m glad you asked, because the answer hasn’t been heard. I was criticised for wearing a police uniform when I’ve never been a police officer.


That was incorrect. It is not a police


uniform. It resembles one, but there are very significant differences; for instance, it has no chequered band on the cap. But it resembles a Chief police officer’s uniform; that’s not surprising because all my 16 predecessors as Chief Inspector of Constabulary were Chief Constables.


The reality is I was wearing the uniform of the Chief Inspector of Constabulary. I was wearing the uniform to which only I, as the holder of that office, am entitled. So, far from wearing a uniform which I wasn’t entitled to wear, I was wearing the uniform which only I was entitled to wear. Why did I have the uniform made up? I didn’t want to do it. I was called in February 2013 by the authorities who set up the Cenotaph arrangements for Remembrance Sunday. The laying of the wreath at the Cenotaph alternates between a senior figure from the world of policing and a senior figure from the world of the fire service. In 2012, it was done by Sir Ken Knight; in 2013 it was my turn as Chief Inspector of Constabulary. The civilian services wreath is laid on behalf of six civilian services, not only the police. I tried very hard to persuade the Cenotaph authorities to allow me to lay the civilian services wreath on behalf in my very best dark coat, i.e. without a uniform. However, they made it very clear this was an all-uniform event, and there is a uniform that goes with my job. So I had to do it. I got the uniform from the Met stores, and really was not comfortable in it. I got it re-tailored, and of course the epaulettes of HMCIC had to be specially made, and then I had a coat made. I did all at my own expense. It was made very clear to me it was not


negotiable in terms of the Cenotaph, and it was a mark of respect. I then took the decision that, if wearing the HMCIC uniform is a mark of respect on such an occasion, I should also wear the uniform a few weeks earlier at the National Police Memorial Day. I did not anticipate - and I should have - the level of hostility borne of the misunderstanding that I mentioned at the beginning: that it was not a police uniform, although it resembled one. Do I regret it? Yes, I do. That’s because


Continued on p17 >>>


NOVEMBER 2020 | POLICE | 15


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