Police Force Alliances and Shared services – Learning the Lessons

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2015 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
18 June 2015

Conference notes that in 2013 MP Damien Green spoke to the delegates at Police and Justice Conference and spoke about the great alliance going on between West Mercia and Warwickshire Police. As was pointed out the great success he was celebrating was not as great as he was trying to convince us. Not only had he jumped the gun as at that point we were nowhere near being an alliance, only being in the first part of the process. But even at this point we knew this was not a great success for our members.

Two years on it’s certainly not the success he hailed it to be, in fact it is only a necessary evil to meet the cuts imposed on police forces by the Tory Led coalition government. What this has meant is a cut in our members jobs, more of the work carried out by skilled Police Staff now pushed back to the officers and more Police officers sat behind desks not out on the streets where the public want to see them. In fact in lots of circumstances the balance sheet may show it as a saving but how can it ever be a saving when one of our members used to do a task now carried out by a Police officer for more than three times the salary.

West Mercia and Warwickshire are now finalising their work to bring the forces into one aligned service across two policing areas. All departments are being run across both forces, but what still remains in place is each Chief Officer Structure within each individual force, along with two Police and Crime Commissioners (PPC). It is our members jobs that have borne the brunt of the cuts, and even where they have managed to continue to secure employment some of the hard fought terms and conditions have been rolled back meaning a drop in pay for lots of members. We ask the Police and Justice Service Executive Group to ensure that no police branch wanders into these kind of negotiations without being forewarned.

We call on the Police and Justice Service Executive Group to:

1)learn the lessons of any alliance or shared services from forces like West Mercia and Warwickshire;

2)to highlight that the cost of pushing police staff tasks/roles back to Police Officers is showing a false saving;

3)work with West Mercia and Warwickshire Police Branch to identify issues and problems, and also identify opportunities to increase the membership and strengthen representation in such difficult times;

4)continue to support branches whilst undergoing consultation about alliances and partnership working, and ensure lessons learnt from these two branches and others across our service group are shared to assist every branch in negotiations.