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Suffolk: Federation backs MP’s warning

PUBLISHED: 09:00 31 December 2012

Mick Richardson

Mick Richardson

Archant

THE general secretary of Suffolk’s Police Federation has backed warnings from a senior MP that morale among officers his heading to an all-time low.

Mick Richardson was speaking after Keith Vaz, the chair of the House or Commons’ Home Affairs select committee warned that morale among officers is low because they feel they do not have the support of the government.

Mr Richardson said: “So far as the issue of morale is concerned, Mr Vaz is spot-on. The way the government is pushing though changes without discussing them with the service is having a very poor effect on morale.

“No one is saying there should not be changes – you always need changes to ensure the service is at its best – but the government is rushing through its reforms without talking to those people who really understand the service.”

Mr Vaz said the low morale was part of a “dangerous cocktail” which included the “plebgate” affair and the results of the Hillsborough Inquiry and was driving a split between the police and the government.

He called on Prime Minister David Cameron to host annual summits with senior officers, and called for “a new Magna Carta” for policing.

Mr Vaz said recent events had dented the public’s confidence in the police.

Mr Richardson did not want to comment on “plebgate” while inquiries were still continuing, but he backed Mr Vaz on the question of morale.

The MP wrote: “One of the first rules of management is to ensure that during a period of radical change you carry your workforce with you. Unfortunately this has not happened.”

Mr Vaz’s committee will next month launch an inquiry into issues of police training, accountability and integrity and into the effectiveness of the processes for dealing with internal corruption and malpractice in the force.

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