A welcome victory on pensionsI am sure you will agree it is great news that the Government has scrapped proposals to increase the minimum pension age for police officers to 57.
Not only does it mean that officers joining the new 2015 pension scheme will still be able to retire at 55 if they wish, but significantly, it also means the Government has listened to the Police Federation's views on this issue.
The Federation put forward a well-reasoned case to the Government stressing the 'difficult and dangerous' work of officers. And in response to a consultation on pensions proposals, called Freedom and choice in pensions, HM Treasury acknowledged the unique nature of policing.
I believe policing cannot be viewed in the same way as other professions. Officers must be properly rewarded and recognised for the difficult and dangerous work they do day in, day out. This decision seems to signal that the Government sees this too. It appears that we have won one battle - but there are still many more to come.
The recommendations from the independent review, backed at conference earlier this year, are being worked through at the Federation's national HQ in Leatherhead, and the Home Secretary has said she is happy with progress to date. Meanwhile, here in Leicestershire we are already making changes to the way we work locally so that we become more efficient and improve the service we offer to members (more details will be published in the next edition of Upbeat which will be circulated at the start of September).
But more proposals for changes within policing have also been announced by the Home Secretary.
Theresa May wants to see a shake-up of police disciplinary procedures and has appointed Major General Clive Chapman to undertake a review of our current systems. The headline proposals include public police disciplinary hearings, a review of police leadership looking at how 'we can go further and faster with direct entry' and opening up the senior ranks to candidates from different backgrounds.
There will also be a review of the entire police complaints system, including the role, powers and funding of the IPCC and the local role played by Police and Crime Commissioners.
I believe it is vital that the views of officers of all ranks are considered as part of the consultation programme and the Police Federation of England and Wales intends to engage fully in this process. We will keep you informed of progress.