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Overwhelming vote for industrial rights by South Wales Police officers

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: March 05, 2013

'anger' Steve Trigg.

Comments (6)

THE UK government has been accused of trying to destroy British policing as more than 96 per cent of officers in South Wales voted in favour of having industrial rights.

At present policemen and women are Crown servants, and it is illegal for them to take industrial action.

But, following a long-running dispute with the coalition government in London, the Police Federation of England and Wales organised a ballot of its 130,000 members to see if they wanted the same kind of employment rights as other workers.

Eighty-one per cent of those who voted, said "yes", but that amounted to less than half the membership and under Fed rules that is not enough for them to lobby for a change in their employment status.

In the South Wales Police Federation the vote in favour of campaigning to acquire industrial rights was overwhelming — some 95.8 per cent of those who voted were in favour.

Steve Trigg, chairman of the South Wales Fed, said: "Our officers are tremendously disillusioned with the current government and express their anger to us on a daily basis.

"They can see the British police service being destroyed by a government that has a clear ideological antipathy towards the British policing model and are angry and frustrated that the best police service in the world is being so badly let down in this way.

"Although the Police Federation of England and Wales policy is that no formal legal action will now be taken as fewer than 50 per cent of the entire membership voted in favour of taking such action, it is vital that we voice the concerns of our members and that government ministers listen to the voices behind this result and appreciate the impact of their ill-considered changes on police officers around the country and the reduced service that they will be able to provide to their communities."

The police and the government have been at loggerheads in recent years over a 20 per cent cut in funding to forces, major changes to pensions, salary structures, and responsibility payments, the cutting of starting salaries for new PCs from £23,500 to £19,000, and the introduction of annual fitness tests, minimum qualifications, and direct entry of candidates from outside the service into senior ranks.

The UK Government has said the reform package will make the service more modern and effective — and save money.

Police Minister Damian Green said he was "pleased" the majority of officers did not want the right to strike.

He said: "Our police have done a fantastic job to cut crime by 10 per cent over the first two years of this government, despite having to play their role in cutting the country's record deficit."

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  • Jiffy  |  March 05 2013, 1:41PM

    You're unaware of police manipulating detection rates? http://tinyurl.com/cznyc83

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  • swanseajock  |  March 05 2013, 12:58PM

    The thief who took your bike and got a suspended sentence for 30 offences........and what has that part of your criticism got to do with the police? The thief that took your bike has obviously been arrested and put before the courts. Itis hardly the fault of the cops that the courts hand out pathetic and derisery sentences to the criminals.......................The lunatic driver who treats local roads like a race track..and when the cops target motorists they are acused of not targetting "real" criminals. Seems they can't win.

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  • Jiffy  |  March 05 2013, 12:08PM

    It's not the big cases that have gone wrong that upset the majority, it's when events which directly affect us and nothing is seen to be done. The drug dealer on an estate who openly sells his goods and is never nicked. The lunatic driver who treats local roads like a race track. The thief who took your bike and got a suspended sentence for 30 offences. If the police were to get right on top of anti-social behaviour, they might earn some more friends.

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  • TheMatthew  |  March 05 2013, 11:34AM

    bomber, that's a contemptible statement and you should be ashamed of yourself for making it. If you think all the police do is to photograph motorists then not only are you stupid but fatuously ignorant as well. There are over 3000 officers in South Wales Police and the overwhelming majority do an excellent job under difficult conditions. My experience is that the people who criticise the police the most are usually the first to call them when they need them.

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  • bomber  |  March 05 2013, 10:52AM

    The police had a huge pay rise years ago in return for a no strike agreement. So give them their rights back by all means but take the pay rise back off them. Let's be honest here. A job where you just have to photograph motorists deserves minimum wage. As for weslangdon, we will be adding the Ckydach murders in years to come and that scandal will top the lot.

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  • weslangdon  |  March 05 2013, 10:13AM

    The Great British Publics faith in the Police was destroyed long ago. Endemic corruption in the "Met", systematic framing of Irishmen and women for offence they were innocent of and the cream on the cake the use of the Police by Thatcher to batter the miners in 1984/85. More recently in the South Wales Police area "the Cardiff 3", the Swansea Sex Shop Murder and the farmhouse shootings in South Glamorgan; 3 high profile murder cases where innocent people were framed.

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