Police are 'distracted' over reforms

It cannot be in the country's best interests for the Government and police to be "distracted over so many issues" of reform, senior officers will warn tomorrow.

Derek Barnett, president of the Police Superintendents' Association, will urge Home Secretary Theresa May to "change the narrative from gloom and criticism" and to work with the police.



His warning comes as forces face the most radical reforms to policing in more than 50 years.



Mr Barnett will tell Mrs May: "We have to find ways to work together.



"It cannot be in the interests of the country for the police service and the Government to be distracted over so many issues.



"As a matter of urgency, you should seek to engage meaningfully with the leaders in policing, we await your call.



"There is so much more that binds us than separates us.



"Let us not squander this chance to make policing history for the right reasons - together."



Speaking at the association's annual conference near Kenilworth, Warwickshire, tomorrow, he will also urge the police service to come together to "find a common stance on the key issues confronting us".



These include whether there should be a professional body for policing, whether direct entry to officer class should be brought in, and what the future structure of the service should look like.



Government budget cuts are widely expected to lead to the loss of 16,000 officers and a further 18,000 police staff while a wide-ranging review of police pay, conditions and pensions risks damaging morale.



There are also plans for directly-elected police and crime commissioners to be brought in to replace existing police authorities from next year.

PA

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