The most comprehensive review of police pay and conditions in more than 30 years was launched today by the government to improve service for the public and maximise value for money.
The independent study, announced by Home Secretary Theresa May, will help bring modern management practices into policing and increase operational flexibility for the country’s 43 territorial forces.
Former Rail Regulator Tom Winsor will head the review, supported by professional advice from former West Midlands Chief Constable Sir Edward Crew and leading labour market economist Professor Richard Disney.
The review will report to the Home Secretary in two parts, the first on short-term improvements to the service in February 2011 and the second on matters of longer-term reform in June 2011.
It will operate with three key objectives, laid out today by the Home Secretary:
• use remuneration and conditions of service to maximise officer and staff deployment to frontline roles where their powers and skills are required;
• provide remuneration and conditions of service that are fair to, and reasonable for, both the taxpayer and police officers and staff; and
• enable modern management practices in line with practices elsewhere in the public sector and the wider economy.
The Home Secretary said:
“It is vital we have a modern and flexible police service to meet the ever-changing demands placed upon it.
“By bringing modern management practices to the police, this review will help ensure chief constables can deliver the frontline services people want, while providing the value for money that is so vital in the tough economic times we face.
“I am very pleased Tom Winsor has agreed to lead this review. His experience of complex issues and multiple stakeholders, together with his reputation for independence, will be essential to the success of this review. Sir Edward Crew will also ensure operational expertise is brought to bear on this wide remit. We need radical solutions to improve policing – nothing will be off-limits in this review.”
Tom Winsor said:
“I am very pleased to accept the Home Secretary’s invitation to lead this review. I look forward to working alongside police officers and their representatives, and others, as they strive to ready the police service for the challenges ahead.
“I have always had immense respect for police officers and staff, and the vital work they do. Every day those on the frontline can face difficult and dangerous situations. Throughout this review, I shall be guided by the overriding principle of fairness – fairness to individual police officers and staff, and fairness to the taxpayer.”
Tom Winsor is now a partner in White & Case, the global law firm. The government is grateful for White & Case’s agreement to enable Mr Winsor to spend a proportion of his time in undertaking this important review.
He has a wide remit to consider all aspects of police pay and conditions. It will include scrutiny of allowances, overtime and the cost of officers working in other force areas.
The review will cover both police officers and civilian staff, including Police Community Support Officers. Its recommendations will be costed and be in great enough detail to be introduced quickly into the service.
Public contributions to the Cabinet Office’s Spending Challenge website – set to up to ask for ways of tackling Britain’s record deficit – included calls for the Home Office to look at police pay and conditions.