Richard Coyles, chairman-elect of the Police Federation, which represents officers up to the rank of chief inspector, called on the public to support the fight against Sheehy. Speaking in Newport, Gwent, he said: 'The message I want to send to the British people tonight is that your police service is in peril. Help us to defend and preserve it.' He said the report was 'a crass, bone-headed, monumental misconception of what the British police service and policing is all about.'
The meeting was the last in a series the federation had called to debate the Sheehy report's recommendations on replacing national index-linked pay awards with performance related pay, fixed-term contracts, abolishing a number of ranks and ending casual overtime.
Mr Coyles also attacked the criminal justice system, saying that the public no longer believed it offered them protection or convicted the guilty. He said the Government's White Paper on police structures was a 'frontal attack' on elected police authorities.
John Over, the Chief Constable of Gwent, said that in 30 years' service he could not recall anything creating such uncertainty among the police force. Much of the report was 'unnecessary and unworkable', he said.