Clarke to face police anger: Changes in discipline are 'the final straw'
Mr Clarke will be speaking on Wednesday to the annual conference of the Police Federation, whose members believe that they are being unfairly treated by proposals to create a system based on civilian personnel management procedures.
Despite a welcome by the police for last week's retreat on the Criminal Justice Act, the service is apprehensive. Reeling from criticisms over miscarriages of justice and inefficiency it is now facing a shake-up in police authorities and an inquiry into pay and responsibilities; there is also anger with Mr Clarke over his refusal to allow trials of the long side-handled baton.
Alan Eastwood, the outgoing chairman of the federation, said: 'The discipline paper is the final straw and is expected to dominate discussions at this conference. The police service are on the Government's hit list and we feel we are being treated abominably.'
Although Mr Eastwood emphasised that Mr Clarke will be received courteously, some fear a repetition of last autumn's meeting of the Metropolitan branch of the federation when Mr Clarke was booed and heckled.
Mr Eastwood has written to the Prime Minister objecting to the proposals, which include the abolition of the 'beyond reasonable doubt' standard of proof and an end to automatic legal representation and an officer's right to silence in many cases. Chief officers will have the power of instant dismissal.
The conference is expected to endorse overwhelmingly a motion committing the federation to pressing for the police to be allowed full trade union rights if the proposals are implemented, which could lead to officers seeking the right to strike. Formal recognition of a police officer's status as an employee, rather than as a servant of the Crown, would make them liable to health and safety legislation.
Mr Clarke stunned last year's federation conference by announcing the inquiry into police pay and responsibilities. That inquiry, chaired by Sir Patrick Sheehy, is due to report at the end of June and is expected to recommend the abolition of a number of ranks and the introduction of fixed contracts and performance-related pay.
Mr Clarke, aware of the pressures on the Government, is likely to strike a balance between pressing ahead with the reforms and totally alienating the police service and it is believed that his speech could be strong on law and order as well as offering the federation some concessions.
Leading article, page 17
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Isis video purports to show beheadings and execution at gunpoint of 30 Ethiopian Christians and destruction of churches in Libya
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...