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Election 2011, Politics

Here come the police

Would-be Assembly members are about to get their collars felt as the police make their grievances abundantly clear later in an effort to put them top of the agenda.

And look at the language they’re using: officers feel ‘disgusted and completely demoralised.’ Strong words from a group of people who aren’t allowed to strike.

But policing is the responsibility of the Home Office isn’t it? It’s not a matter for politicians in Cardiff Bay even if some of them want it to be at some stage in the future. Or is it?

The Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, is reminding those who want the votes of those officers, that the Assembly already has a massive say over a large amount of policing.

It says community safety partnerships, sexual advice referral centres and WECTU – the counter terrorism unit for Wales, have all been funded by the Welsh government in the past.

And the Federation says that when you combine what the Assembly Government spends on policing and the money raised in council tax bills by the police precept, 60% of funding comes from Wales, with just the remaining 40% coming from the Home Office.

Their anger though, does stem from actions taken in London. They’re angry about a series of reviews into pay, pensions and terms and conditions, coupled with what the Federation describes as ‘savage 20% cuts to all police budgets.’

So the Federation wants to know where all the candidates stand on this and what they’ll do with the bits of policing that are controlled by Cardiff Bay.

Which brings me to the collar-feeling. The Federation has set up a website where officers can post messages but more importantly it’s asked its members to email all the candidates in their area setting out their concerns and reminding them that they will bestow their votes depending on the answers they get.

The website has a text of an email which you can see here.

Individual officers are asked to copy it, customise it with their own experience and worries and then send it to all the candidates

Although the Police Federation says the intent is not to clog up inboxes, with 7,000 officers in Wales, it could mean a lot of emails.


About Adrian Masters

By day, Political Editor at ITV Wales. By night, obsessed with music and books.


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