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Operation Edison has undoubtedly - and inevitably - caused much concern not just to Leicestershire Police Federation and its members but also the chief officers, other senior officers, the management team, our police staff colleagues and the various staff associations operating in the Force.

With the continued programme of cuts imposed on the police service by the Government - and more likely in the coming years - the Force has found itself in an unenviable position.

It has to use the reduced funding as effectively as possible, providing a quality police service to communities across the city and the wider county while also balancing the books.

For our part, we have fully engaged in the consultation and planning process - but that does not mean we were party to all the decisions taken or that we are happy with all the outcomes.

We have done our utmost to put forward the concerns of our members and negotiate with the Force to ensure the safety, health and welfare of our members. We were forthright with our views over working conditions, working locations and the make-up of teams. We successfully negotiated with the project leaders on many of these issues. We have also offered support to those on flexible working patterns and attended meetings where arrangements for their shifts were discussed.

It has not been an easy task for anyone involved. As the Federation has said for several years, there is only so far the Government can cut funding before it starts to have an effect not just on the policing service we provide but also the people trying to deliver that service.

We all joined to serve our communities, fighting and preventing crime, protecting the vulnerable and tackling anti-social behaviour. As our funding has fallen, there has been no corresponding drop in demand for our services; in fact, as other public sector and voluntary organisations have felt the pinch and reduced their services, we have been left to pick up the pieces.

Operation Edison, we accept, will impact hugely on our members - and other officers and staff - but we have sought to get the best deal possible for you.

When we have been aware of Operation Edison meetings that we were not invited to attend, we have still put our views across to those involved and crucially to the decision-makers; we have continued to ensure your rights are protected. We have not just accepted the decisions made. Where we have disagreed to we have said so, strongly, and we will continue to voice our members' concerns.

Of course, there will be those who say we have not done enough. To them we would say, read this update, which will be circulated around the Force, and take the time to learn about what we have done rather than being swayed into concentrating on areas where blame has been directed at the Federation for implementation.

We remain committed to representing you, to negotiating on your behalf and to protecting your terms and conditions. We will continue to work with the Force and its senior leaders to help balance the books and provide the best service we can in very challenging times.

Tiff Lynch, LPF chairman
Malc Mills, LPF secretary