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About the Metropolitan Police Federation

A word from the Chairman, John Tully

The Metropolitan Police Federation represents one fifth of all serving police officer in England Wales. The Federation promotes their welfare, helping ensure the Metropolitan Police Service operates to the highest professional standards, and ensures it is fully accountable to the serving officer.

Why London is Special

Policing London is a unique task faced by a unique police force. London is the political, economic and media capital of the UK. Whilst every police force has its own set of challenging issues, the pressures, scrutiny and difficulties faced by London's police force are often greater than anywhere else in the country, and London is usually the first city to face political demonstrations and terrorist attacks. What happens in London affects on the rest of the country and beyond!

Speaking with Authority

As the body which represents over 30,000 serving police officers, the Metropolitan Police Federation is an organisation which speaks with authority to the public, to media and Government about issues important to policing in the 21st century.

The Federation offers consultation on service policy across a wide range of activities, from the police use of firearms to officer training, employment practice to career development. The Federation uses its expertise to advise and help the Service continuously raise standards of policing across London and across all operations.

The Structure, and our National Colleagues

The Federation comprises three autonomous branch boards representing constables, sergeants and inspecting ranks (inspectors and chief inspectors) respectively, each of which has its own executive committee. Together, the three executives form the Joint Executive Committee, which acts as the Metropolitan Police Federation.

Standing up for London's Police

Over the years, the Federation has had to fight difficult campaigns to ensure fairness for its members, and has done so with great success. With difficult times once again facing the profession, the Federation continues to champion the highest standards of policing in London, and campaigns vigorously for the interests of its members.

The History of the Federation

The Metropolitan Federation is affiliated to the Police Federation of England and Wales, which was established by the Police Act of 1919. The Act was passed in response to a strike by officers over pay - which they won - and forbade the police from ever again withdrawing their labour, and forbade officers from joining a trade union. In 1931, the Government proposed pay cuts throughout the public sector, but so strong was the Federation's opposition, that the Home Secretary banned it from holding open mass meetings. The prohibition was not lifted until 1942.

The Federation also had a strained relationship with the wartime Home Secretary Herbert Morrison, who in 1944, summoned the Federation's Joint Central Committee to the Home Office, where it was told that they must justify his decisions to the membership and not continue to press claims after he had ruled against them.

His action typified the disdain that numerous governments have over the years demonstrated towards the profession of policing, resulting in hostility to, and even victimisation of, Federation leaders.

After the War, many officers who had joined the armed services declined to rejoin their forces and recruitment proved extremely difficult. Morale was very low and police pay was far behind that of other workers. A government inquiry in 1949 proposed an increase in pay and, crucially, recommended that for the first time the Federation could collect voluntary subscriptions from its membership. These subscriptions, which began in 1955, formed what is known as the Voluntary Fund and gave the Federation vital financial muscle in its campaigning work.

In 1960, a Royal Commission recommended a substantial increase in police pay, and in 1971 the Federation secured the largest negotiated police pay settlement ever. But by 1976, pay was again lagging far behind that of other sectors. It was so low, in fact, that the press found some officers on supplementary benefit.

Pay talks broke down and the Federation balloted its members on the question of the right to strike, producing an overwhelming majority in favour. The Government announced an independent inquiry into police pay to be headed by Lord Edmund-Davies which reported in 1978, and recommended a 45 per cent pay increase, part of which was compensation for officers' lack of the right to strike.

Edmund-Davies also recommended that police pay rises be linked to the national average.

The Government accepted the inquiry's findings.

In 1992, the then Home Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, announced an inquiry into police responsibilities and rewards under Sir Patrick Sheehy, who was chairman of BAT Industries. The Sheehy report was published the following year, and recommended the introduction of performance-related pay, short-term contracts, a 40-year pension scheme for new entrants or officers accepting promotion (instead of the existing 30-year scheme) and changes to the method of upgrading pay.

The Federation rejected the report and mounted a vigerous campaign against it.

An open meeting was held at Wembley Arena which was attended by 23,000 officers, who heard Federation leaders, along with the Superintendents' Association, a chief constable and leading politicians bitterly criticise the report. Michael Howard, who succeeded Kenneth Clarke as Home Secretary, rejected most of the Sheehy recommendations, although he altered the pay upgrading formula so that police pay would be linked to private sector non-manual pay settlements.

Since then, the Federation has fought - and continues to fight - to improvements in all aspects of officers' welfare.
If you are a serving officer in London, the Federation is standing up for your best interests and ensuring that the public, media and Government know what an essential job you do for London and the whole country. If you are a member of the public, the Federation serves you by standing up for the interests of a professional, well trained and well motivated Metropolitan Police Service. In doing so, the Federation is standing up for the interests of the Police Officer and citizen, in London and beyond.

Thank you.

John Tully
Chairman, MPF

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