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More challenges ahead

I would like to start by wishing all members a very happy 2014.

Thank you to all officers who were on duty over the Christmas and New Year period ensuring public safety. I do hope you got to spend some time with your family and loved ones. I know those who did get precious time off are grateful to those who worked over the festive period.

Looking back, 2013 was a challenging year for both the police service and the Police Federation and we are going to face more challenges throughout 2014 but we can see some positives amid the gloom.

The new shift pattern is in. A lot of work has gone into it from both us and the Force. Hopefully, our members will think this pattern is a positive improvement on the last one which I know so many people disliked.

We will continue to monitor the progress of the new shift pattern and hope that it offers better work life balance for you. Let us know your views.

This month brings the publication of the independent review of the Police Federation. Everyone has had the opportunity to input into the review so it will be interesting to hear what is recommended in terms of improving the Federation.

Both myself and LPF secretary Malc Mills will be at the launch of the review report on 20 January and will keep you informed of the recommendations made and the way forward. We look forward to the challenge and change.

Just days before Christmas, the Police Arbitration Tribunal (PAT) announced its decision on the thorny issues of the Winsor recommendations on compulsory severance and restricted duty officers. The PAT decision looked positive, however, I still urge a little caution. The matter is not yet ratified by the Home Secretary Theresa May and, until that is signed off, we really do not know the finer details.

In recent months, politicians have been telling us that it is time to build bridges between political circles and the police. I agree with that and welcome it. This is an opportunity for the Home Secretary to do the honourable thing and sign off and ratify the PAT decision.

John Hughes
Leicestershire Police Federation