The Police Federation Conference starts in Bournemouth tomorrow and Wednesday morning will see the keynote speeches by the Federation's chair Jan Berry and the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and this after Jacqui Smith renages on the decision of the Police Arbitration Tribunal decision to pay officers 2.5% backdated to 1st September 2007. It will be interesting to see how Conference reacts, will they give Smith the silent treatment or will they heckle her or even walk out... I doubt if they will jostle her as they did Roy Jenkins when he was Home Secretary in the late 1970's. You can be sure though that she won't receive a warm welcome not after the demonstration by 25,000 Police officers through London. We also await the result of the ballot for the right to strike and the result of the Judicial Review against Smith's decision in the High Court.
Closer to home the six Local Authorities in North Wales will need to make a decision as to who the 9 members of the North Wales Police Authority will be, the 9 need to be politically balanced and as a result of Labour losses across the region we could well see some long standing Labour Councillors fail to be returned to the authority. Could one casualty be Cllr Malcom King, Ex Chair of the Authority?
From a personal perspective and having served as a Police Officer in North Wales for over 30 years I have little time for the Police Authority, I just see them as weak and ineffectual and constantly failing to exercise control over the Chief Constable. To make the Police Authority more accountable we need to have them elected and not appointed.