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federation

West Midlands Police Federation August/September 2016

Paul honoured at

Police Bravery

Awards - See Pages 6 and 7

www.westmidspolfed.com


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Welcome

Welcome to the August/September edition of

federation -the magazine for members of West

Midlands Police Federation.

We are always on the look-out for good

news stories so please get in touch if you have

something to share with colleagues. It does not

have to relate to your policing role – though we

are definitely interested in hearing about what’s

going on around the Force. Do you have an

interesting hobby or perhaps you are involved in

sport locally, as a player, a manager, a coach?

Just get in touch and let us know.

We would also be interested to hear what

you would like to see featured in your magazine.

Cover photo: Paul Hopley, the West Midlands

Police Federation bravery award nominee,

pictured with his partner, Michelle, outside

No 10.

Photo courtesy of Anderson Photography

Published by:

XPR (UK) Ltd

Editor:

Tom Cuddeford, interim chairman

Deputy editor:

Claire Snape,

Member services manager

Claire@westmids.polfed.org

Design and sub-editing:

XPR (UK) Ltd

Contact us:

Guardians House,

2111 Coventry Road,

Sheldon, Birmingham,

B26 3EA

Telephone:

0121 700 1200

Email:

westmidlandspf@polfed.org

www.westmidspolfed.com

Federation is printed by Heron Press UK on

behalf of the Joint Branch Board of the West

Midlands Police Federation.

The articles published do not necessarily reflect

the views of the Joint Branch Board. The editor

reserves the right to reject or edit any material

submitted.

Every care is taken to ensure that

advertisements are accepted only from bona

fide advertisers. The Police Federation cannot

accept liability for losses incurred by any

person as a result of a default on the part of an

advertiser.

All material is copyright and may not be

reproduced without the express permission of

the editor.

Contents

04 Interim chairman’s

introduction

05 Force takes on Police Now

recruits

06 Brave officer among first to

meet new Prime Minister and

Home Secretary

08 Crime rises as officer numbers

fall

09 98 per cent pass rate for fitness

tests

10 Unique role of police officers

should not be forgotten

11 Kate tackles PM on widows

pensions

12 Officers given one per cent pay

rise

12 E-voting is coming soon

13 Thank you, Peggy

13 National Police Memorial Day

service

13 Federation roadshows continue

to be a success

13 Bumps and babies goes from

strength to strength

Advertisers

02 Police Mutual, healthcare

14 Slater & Gordon, police law

22 Police Insure

26 Warren & Co, independent

mortgage advice

28 Police Credit Union

30 Slater & Gordon, family law

32 Police Mutual, car and home

insurance

15 Appeal to fund operation to

enable two-year old to walk

reaches £26,000

16 Member welfare: your Group

Insurance cover

18 Supporting members as mental

health concerns grow

19 Flint House - supporting body

and mind

20 Mind leading the way with Blue

Light Programme

21 ‘You are never alone’

23 Viewpoint

26 Honouring war-time hero

27 Can you ‘Share An Hour’ to

help injured officers and their

families?

29 Police Credit Union: Time for a

change?

31 What happens to my pension

after divorce?

33 Family vacations and

relocations

33 Gorvins, family law solicitors

34 George Burrows, mobile phone and

gadget cover

35 Lookers Vauxhall

35 First Call Financial, independent

mortgage advice

36 Citroen Coventry

www.westmidspolfed.com

federation August/September 2016 03


Interim chairman’s introduction

Where do we

go from here?

By Tom Cuddeford, interim chairman of

West Midlands Police Federation

With all that has happened in the

last four to six weeks, I find

myself looking back on this year’s

national Police Federation conference which

somehow seems such a long time ago now.

Each year one of the highlights of the

conference is the ‘Question Time’ style

session during which officers are given the

opportunity to raise the issues they are

concerned about with the Home Secretary.

This year was no different; members

asked the questions and, to varying degrees,

they were given answers by Theresa May.

Since Mrs May was making her seventh

consecutive appearance at conference as

Home Secretary, it was a polished

performance and she skilfully handled

questions on officer assaults, terrorism,

misconduct regulations and Specials to

name just a few.

But one question sticks in my mind.

A Federation rep from Avon and

Somerset, perhaps mindful of rumours that

a Cabinet re-shuffle was on the cards, asked

Mrs May what she felt her legacy as Home

Secretary would be. She gave her answer,

ending that she thought that part of her

legacy would be that everyone is a custodian

of justice and that victims of crime would

feel more confident in coming forward.

But, Steve White, chairman of the

national Federation, seized on what she said

and asked: “It’s always interesting when

talking about legacy, there’s a bit of an

assumption. Are you going somewhere,

Home Secretary?”

Mrs May shrugged her shoulders and

elaborated a little more on her legacy.

But, I think we can give her some leeway

(for once) because I am not sure that even

Theresa May would have foreseen that just a

matter of weeks later she would be walking

into No 10 Downing Street as the new Prime

Minister and the second woman in history

to hold that office.

That move in such a short timescale, on

the back of the Brexit vote, David Cameron’s

decision to stand down, Michael Gove’s

about-turn, the destruction of Boris

Johnson’s leadership hopes and the

withdrawal of Andrea Leadsom from the

race, clearly hadn’t been anticipated by even

the sharpest of media commentators.

But, of course, the political upheaval

didn’t end there. With Mrs May taking over

as PM, she had the vacancy she left behind

to fill and, within 24 hours had appointed

Amber Rudd as Home Secretary.

So, here we are just a few weeks on, with

a new PM and a new Home Secretary. They

face an incredible challenge to re-unite the

country and their party.

And away from the Brexit and the

politics, life goes on and there are some real

issues that they are going to have to tackle

– not least an increase in recorded crime.

Figures released just as we were

finalising this magazine show only part of

what they are up against. New data shows

that officer numbers have fallen by a further

3,126 nationwide (2.5 per cent) meaning

that we have 124,066 officers serving across

England and Wales. In the West Midlands

alone we have lost 1,500 officers during the

Government’s austerity measures and, as a

visible sign of the difficult decisions senior

officers have been forced to take, several

police stations and police buildings have

disappeared from our communities. It is a

proven fact that police links with local

communities are essential for intelligence

gathering and forming effective

relationships with the people we serve.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS)

has also revealed that recorded crime has

increased by eight per cent.

While the Home Secretary was accusing

us (the Federation) of scaremongering,

officers on the street knew the reality. New

crimes were coming to the fore as criminals

found ingenious ways to exploit electronic

advances to their own ends – cyber-crime is

on the up and is now, thankfully, shown in

the ONS report.

Meanwhile police officers, who let’s face

it joined the police service to serve their

communities not to get rich, have found

04 federation August/September 2016

www.westmidspolfed.com


Photo courtesy of Anderson Photography

Theresa May at the bravery awards reception in Downing Street – one of her first official engagements as Prime Minister.

themselves stretched, sometimes to

breaking point, and sickness levels have

risen.

But, it’s no good us crowing and saying:

“We told you so.”

The Police Federation has highlighted

the problems and now it needs to be part of

the solutions.

The demands on the police service are

immense. Cyber crime is just one growth

area. We are also facing an unprecedented

threat from terrorism. You only have to

witness the shocking atrocity in Nice to

realise how real that risk is.

And criminal activity is only one element

of our work. We are still seen as the service

of last resort and therefore when others fail

– due to funding issues or other factors – it

is the police who step in.

We appreciate the new Home Secretary

will be on a steep learning curve now as she

gets to grips with her new role.

But, we need to open up a dialogue with

her, start forming an effective relationship

and, in turn, shape the future of the police

service for the benefit of the public we all

serve.

Force takes on Police Now recruits

West Midlands Police has taken on its first recruits from the national Police Now

programme.

The graduate leadership programme is designed to transform communities,

reduce crime and increase the public’s confidence in policing, by recruiting and

developing diverse people to be leaders in society and on the policing frontline.

Steve Grange, secretary of West Midlands Police Federation, and Tom Cuddeford,

interim chairman, have been to London to meet the group as they embark on their

training programme.

The recruits are currently undertaking an intensive six-week summer academy,

which includes practical activity and leadership development. There will be a

number of written and practical assessments and they will be taught the

foundations of professional policing and how they can really make a difference in a

local community.

On graduation, they will be posted to West Midlands Police full-time. Once in

Force they will be the officer responsible for leading the policing in a specific area

and will have to forge close relationships with partners, like the local authority, NHS,

housing associations and community groups.

Throughout the year they will attend training sessions focused on professional

policing and their own leadership journey and will be allocated a mentor for support

and continuous development.

www.westmidspolfed.com

federation August/September 2016 05


Police Bravery Awards

Brave officer among first to

meet new Prime Minister

and Home Secretary

An unarmed West Midlands Police

officer who single-handedly took on

an axe-wielding man has been

honoured for his bravery during a reception

at Downing Street.

PC Paul Hopley was nominated for the

national Police Bravery Award by West

Midlands Police Federation and was among

the first to meet newly instated Prime

Minister Theresa May during the reception

on Thursday 14 July, the day after she had

taken office.

Last June, PC Hopley was patrolling

alone in Birmingham when he saw a man

at a bus stop with a three-foot axe.

Fearing for the safety of the public, he

stopped his marked police car blocking both

lanes of traffic. However, as he got out of

the car, the man became agitated and

started attacking the bus stop.

PC Hopley remained calm and shouted

at the man to drop the weapon before

taking out his CS spray and trying to

engage him in conversation.

The man then walked quickly towards

PC Hopley and, holding the axe, told him he

wanted to die. PC Hopley took this

opportunity to use his CS spray but it had

no effect and the man lifted the axe and

struck the bonnet of PC Hopley’s car.

The officer was forced to move away

but did not withdraw completely, instead

continuing to try to engage with the man,

who eventually discarded the axe. PC

Hopley was then able to handcuff him.

Surprisingly, no-one was injured in the

incident.

When searched, the man was also

found to be in possession of a serrated

knife and made comments to the effect

that he had wanted officers to shoot him

and that he had wanted to die.

New Home Secretary Amber Rudd

attended the awards and said ‘how lucky’

she was to have so many brave police

officers. She attended the evening

ceremony which took place at the

Dorchester Hotel in London.

Ms Rudd presented the overall national

winner, PC Sean Cannon from West

Yorkshire, with his award, and she was

impressed with what she saw.

She said: “It was lovely for me to hear

about the individual stories and it made me

feel how lucky I am that we have in our

police force so many brave people.”

Tom Cuddeford, interim chairman of

West Midlands Police Federation, said: “PC

Hopley placed himself at great personal risk

in order to detain this man. He had

requested support, including a specialist

firearms unit, but rather than withdraw to

safety until they arrived he showed

exceptional courage, placing himself in

harm’s way to protect the local community.

“Despite the risk he faced, he was able

to resolve a tense and dangerous situation

without harm to anyone.”

It was the 21st anniversary of the Police

Bravery Awards which honour police officers

who have performed outstanding acts of

bravery while on or off duty.

The full line-up of this year’s nominees with Theresa May.

06 federation August/September 2016

www.westmidspolfed.com


Paul’s moment

in history

Paul Hopley is one of only a handful of

people to be able to say they met the new

Prime Minister on her first day in office.

He attended 10 Downing Street for the

annual Police Bravery Awards reception

hosted by Theresa May just after taking up

her new post.

Speaking about being nominated and

his visit to Number 10, he said: “Initially, I

was rather embarrassed as it’s something

that I think any of my colleagues would

have done and it’s part and parcel of the

risks we could face every day. However, it’s

always nice to get recognition for what we

do and the risks we face so I was proud to

represent West Midlands Police at the

awards.

“It was rather surreal walking into the

gardens of Number 10, an experience I will

never forget. I didn’t personally speak with

the new Prime Minister. As you can imagine

it was a rather busy day for her and so she

only had the opportunity to speak on a one

to one basis with a few of the nominees.

However, we had a group photograph and

then Mrs May addressed us all afterwards.

“The evening event was fantastic. The

nominees were looked after impeccably and

the whole event was extremely well

organised. It rounded off an amazing 24

hours perfectly. It was quite humbling to

listen to the stories of the other officers.”

Talking about the incident which led to

his nomination he explains: “To be honest I

Paul Hopley and his partner, Michelle, at the Downing Street reception.

do feel like I was just doing my job. It may not

be the kind of incident you come across very

often during your career but you instinctively

rely on your experience and deal with it

without really thinking about it. I think most

officers, if placed in the same circumstances,

would also have stopped and done the same.

“Initially, I didn’t have time to think of the

risks or dangers. It wasn’t until my CS spray

had no effect that I realised the incident had

the potential to go wrong. At that point, he

turned the axe on the police vehicle but

fortunately I was able to engage with him and

persuade him to discard the weapon.

“I would do the same again, I don’t think I

could withdraw and watch. The thought that

someone could get injured and I hadn’t tried

to help wouldn’t sit right with me.”

During the evening reception PC Hopley

sat with Chief Constable Dave Thompson and

his partner and took selfies with Nick

Knowles and Mark Durden Smith who

presented the awards evening.

“They were both extremely friendly and

happy to spend time chatting. They were also

both very complimentary about the

thousands of officers across England and

Wales that make massive sacrifices every day

to keep the public safe,” he said.

“I will remember the whole experience

for many years to come. It was a once in a

life-time experience and an honour to be

nominated and attend such a prestigious

event.

“Could I also say a massive thank you to

my partner Michelle for making the whole

experience extra special. Also to Tom

Cuddeford, the interim chairman of West

Midlands Police Federation, who looked after

us both superbly.”

Photos courtesy of Anderson Photography

www.westmidspolfed.com

federation August/September 2016 07


Crime rises as

officer numbers fall

Two new reports showing a rise in

recorded crime and a continuing fall

in police numbers are alarming,

according to Tom Cuddeford, interim

chairman of West Midlands Police

Federation.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS)

has revealed an eight per cent increase in

recorded crime for the year ending 31

March 2016 and also estimated there had

been 5.8 million fraud and computer

misuse crimes, the first time so-called

cyber-crimes have been included in the

reported figures and a move welcomed by

Tom.

Meanwhile Workforce Data statistics

showed that 3,000 police officers were lost

in the last year, continuing the downward

trend started in 2009 and bringing the

total reduction in numbers to 20,000, and

also pointed to a rise in sickness levels with

an 11.5 per cent increase in the number of

officers on long-term sick leave.

“With fewer officers on the streets, our

Force alone has lost 1,500 officers, many

local police stations have been closed and

these cuts are having consequences for

hard-pressed police forces, the

communities they serve and police officers

themselves,” Tom explains.

“The Police Federation has been

accused of scaremongering when we

expressed concerns that crime would

increase as officer numbers fell but these

latest statistics show our fears were

founded particularly given that new and

emerging criminality, such as cyber-crime,

is putting extra demand on hard-pressed

officers.

“We are concerned for the communities

we serve but also about the effect this

increased demand is having on police

officers as they try to tackle crime with

fewer and fewer resources. We are already

seeing increased levels of sickness and a

rise in stress-related illness and mental

health issues so something has to change.”

Tom has also stressed that, while any

increase in crime is of major concern,

policing is not just about crime and there

are many other demands on police

resources including tackling unsocial

behaviour and disorder, crime prevention,

community partnership working and

protecting the vulnerable.

“It is important to recognise that

recorded crime is only a partial picture and

that the demand and risk is increasing

across the police service particularly at a

08 federation August/September 2016

time when other public services are being

cut and we are being expected to step in to

fill those gaps,” he says.

National Police Federation chairman,

Steve White, has also expressed his

concerns: “At a time when safety and

security of the public is at the top of the

political agenda, it is time to refocus

priorities and invest further in the police.

Our members want to deliver the best

service they can, but they need the right

support in place to do this.

“The Government, the National Police

Chiefs’ Council and Police and Crime

Commissioners must now work with the

service, including the Police Federation of

England and Wales, to continue to ensure it

has sufficient staff and sufficient resources

to keep the British public safe.

“This is the time we, as a country,

should be investing in the police service.

With threats against them, the public will

rightly expect police resourcing to be

increasing, not decreasing, potentially

leaving us all more vulnerable to attack.”

Headline figures in the ONS report

showed:

l 15.2 per cent of adults aged 16 and over

were a victim of at least one crime in

the year

l A 27 per cent increase in recorded

violence against the person

l 571 homicides – 10 per million – up 34

on the previous year

l A 21 per cent increase in recorded

sexual offences

l A 10 per cent increase in recorded

offences involving knives or sharp

instruments

l A four per cent increase in recorded

crimes involving firearms.

The workforce report revealed:

l 200,922 workers were employed by the

43 police forces, a decrease of 6,807 or

3.3 per cent compared with a year

earlier

l The number of police officers fell by

3,126 (2.5 per cent) to 124,066

compared with the year to March 2015

l The officer wastage rate (the proportion

of officers leaving the police, excluding

transfers) in 2015/16 was 5.5 per cent

l The number of officers in front-line

roles has fallen, from 110,853 in the

year to March 2015 to 106,411 in the

year to March 2016

l The number of officers in local policing

roles fell by six per cent

l 5.9 per cent of all officers were Black

and Minority Ethnic (BME) as at 31

March 2016, a higher proportion than

any of the previous 10 years

l 12.1 per cent of joiners were BME,

compared with 4.4 per cent of leavers

l 28.6 per cent of all officers were female,

again the highest proportion in the last

10 years

l Both BME and female officers were

more commonly found at constable

rank than higher ranks

l As at 31 March 2016, there were 2,429

police officers on long-term sick leave.

This was an increase of 11.5 per cent

compared with the previous year, and

accounted for around two per cent of all

police officers in England and Wales

l At the same time, there were 3,715

police officers on recuperative duties,

and 4,933 on adjusted/restricted duties

in England and Wales. This accounted

for 3.2 per cent and 4.1 per cent of

officers respectively.

www.westmidspolfed.com


Fitness tests

98 per cent pass rate

for fitness tests

Just two per cent of officers nationwide

have failed their fitness test according

to the latest figures released by the

College of Policing.

The figures show an average pass rate

of 98 per cent based on a total of 93,956

tests carried out between September 2014

and August 2015.

West Midlands Police officers fell

slightly under the national average with

3,262 of the 3,348 officers who took the

test achieving a pass.

Tom Cuddeford, interim chairman of

West Midlands Police Federation,

welcomed the statistics.

“Compulsory job-related fitness tests

were introduced two years ago following

Tom Winsor’s review of policing,” Tom

explained, “The Federation raised its

concerns at the time but these figures

show forces have responded well and the

vast majority of officers are passing these

tests, demonstrating they are fit to serve

their communities.

“However, the Federation was

concerned from the outset that these tests

would have a disproportionate effect on

women and older officers and that has

proved to be the case. These figures show

that across the 43 forces women and older

officers are more likely to fail the test and

this is something that must be addressed

in terms of fairness and equality.”

Nevertheless, West Midlands women

officers bucked that trend with 98.2 per

cent of them passing the test, compared to

a national average of 95.4 per cent. Male

officers did not fare so well and were in the

bottom five forces.

“This is something we will have to look

into,” says Tom, “We need to find out why

they fell below the national standard and

what support can be put in place to

improve that performance.”

Fitness test results September

2014 to August 2015

(passes in brackets)

TOP FIVE FORCES

1 City of London 100 per cent (120 out of

120)

2 South Wales 99.6 per cent (1,676 out of

1,682)

3= Hampshire 99.5 per cent (1,327 out of

1,334)

3= Surrey 99.5 per cent (1,933 out of 1,943)

5 Devon and Cornwall 99.4 per cent (2,884

out of 2,901)

BOTTOM FIVE FORCES

43 South Yorkshire 95 per cent (1,806 out of

1,902)

40= Bedfordshire 96.3 per cent (1,027 out of

1,066)

40= Suffolk 96.3 per cent (1,167 out of 1,211)

40= Warwickshire 96.3 per cent (447 out 464)

39 Humberside 96.4 per cent (851 out of 883)

MEN

Top five

1= City of London 100 per cent (103 out of

103)

1= Cheshire 100 per cent (82 out of 82)

3= Dorset 99.9 per cent (732 out of 733)

3= Surrey 99.9 per cent (1,379 out of 1,380)

5 Devon and Cornwall 99.8 per cent (2,154

out of 2,158)

Bottom five

43 South Yorkshire 97 per cent (1,347 out of

1,389)

42 West Midlands 97.2 per cent (2,399 out of

2,469)

41 Warwickshire 97.7 per cent (342 out of 350)

40 Cumbria 98.3 per cent (653 out of 664)

38= Derbyshire 98.4 per cent (859 out of 873)

38= MPS 98.4 per cent (20,313 out of 20,642)

WOMEN

Top five

1 City of London 100 per cent (17 out of 17)

2= Devon and Cornwall 98.9 per cent (730 out

of 743)

2= Dyfed-Powys 98.9 per cent (267 out of 270)

2= Hampshire 98.9 per cent (263 out of 266)

5 Cumbria 98.7 per cent (302 out of 306)

Bottom five

43 South Yorkshire 89.4 per cent (459 out of

513)

41= Humberside 89.6 per cent (216 out of 241)

41= Suffolk 89.6 per cent (287 out of 320)

39= Gwent 91.2 per cent (228 out of 250)

39= West Mercia 91.2 per cent (312 out of 342)

www.westmidspolfed.com

federation August/September 2016 09


Unique role of police officers

should not be forgotten

Theresa May must continue to

recognise the important role the

police and security services play in

maintaining national stability now that she

is Prime Minister, says Tom Cuddeford,

interim chairman of West Midlands Police

Federation.

Congratulating Mrs May on her new role,

Tom explained that as one of our longestserving

home secretaries, she had a very

good understanding of policing and should

be able to help her successor get to grips

with the challenges facing the service.

“While we have not always enjoyed

working with Theresa May during her time at

the Home Office, we acknowledge her

achievement in becoming only our second

woman Prime Minister and we look forward

to seeing how she rises to this challenge,”

says Tom.

“While she was Home Secretary, we faced

almost continual reform which often put us

at loggerheads but perhaps now with all the

uncertainty surrounding the Brexit we can

look forward to a period of consolidation.

“Last November the previous Chancellor

indicated that there would be no more police

cuts so let’s hope that is true because with

crime up and our numbers down I think

there is a good argument for more

investment in policing.”

As part of the Cabinet re-shuffle

prompted by David Cameron’s departure, one

of the new Prime Minister’s first

appointments came with the naming of

Amber Rudd as Home Secretary.

Tom says Ms Rudd will need to take time

to fully understand the police service and the

hard-working officers who make up that

service.

“One of her first official engagements in

her new role was to attend the National

Police Bravery awards so I hope that the

evening and the stories of all the nominees

gave her an insight into what it entails to be

a police officer,” Tom explains.

“So many of those nominees would have

told her that they were just doing their job

but how many people automatically put

their lives on the line when it comes to

protecting others? Police officers hold a

unique place in society and the new Home

Secretary should always keep that in mind.

“I hope she is committed to working with

the Police Federation for the benefit of

policing, the public and police officers. The

Federation for its part is fully committed to

forming an effective working relationship

with the Home Secretary. We are the voice of

police officers and we will make sure they are

heard.”

Speaking after the bravery awards, the

Federation’s national chairman, Steve White,

said: “These tremendous feats of bravery are

the tip of the iceberg for the remarkable hard

work and talent of officers across England

and Wales, a work ethic and performance

that makes them the envy of the world over.

“It is not just important, it is absolutely

imperative that Ms Rudd continues to

recognise the talent that exists and provides

a suitable platform to harbour and develop

this for the good of the nation.”

l As part of the Cabinet re-shuffle, the

Prime Minister appointed Great

Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, the former

housing and planning minister, as police

and fire service minister. A Remain

campaigner, Mr Lewis replaces Mike

Penning who moves to the Ministry of

Defence.

Steve White, Police Federation

national chairman, welcomes

Amber Rudd to The Dorchester

Hotel for the bravery awards

ceremony.

Photo courtesy of Anderson Photography

10 federation August/September 2016

www.westmidspolfed.com


Kate tackles PM on widows pensions

The widow of a West Midlands Police

dog handler who died on duty in 1987

has written an open letter to the new

Prime Minister as part of a campaign for

life-long pensions for all police widows.

Under current regulations, widows of

officers in the 1987 Police Pension Scheme

have to forfeit their pensions if they re-marry

or co-habit forcing them to choose between

future happiness and financial security.

Kate writes:

Dear Mrs May,

I am the widow of PC Colin John Hall; I have

been campaigning for life-long pensions for

all police widows for the past two years.

I have written letters to you before in

your role as the Home Secretary and the

replies, as expected, have been very

impersonal. But when I heard your

acceptance speech on 13 July it felt as

though you were speaking directly to me and

my family.

So I thought it may be time that I spoke

to you on a more personal level.

My husband, Colin, was one of those

‘white, working class boys’ you referred to in

your first speech as PM and you are quite

right in that he didn’t go to university. What

he did do, however, was become a police

officer.

He was a police dog handler and served

with the West Midlands Police for 21 years.

On Sunday 29 November 1987, he was

dispatched with a number of his colleagues

to tackle a disturbance at a block of flats

and, having dealt with the incident, he

suffered a heart attack and died at the scene.

He was 40-years-old. At 24, I found

myself a widow, and our four-year-old

daughter Kelly lost her best friend in the

world.

In your speech, you praised David

Cameron for having led ‘a one nation

Government’ and you explained that the

word ‘Unionist’ as part of the official title of

the ‘Conservative and Unionist Party’ is very

important to you as it means, ‘…we believe in

the union, the precious, precious bond

between England, Scotland, Wales and

Northern Ireland…’

This struck a chord with me. Kelly and I

are still part of the police family, when one of

our family members is hurt - wherever they

may be in this precious union of ours - then

we hurt; when they shed tears at the loss of

a colleague, we weep beside them.

You say: “David Cameron’s true legacy is

not about the economy, but about social

justice.”

In 2014, all RUC widows were granted

their pensions for life; it costs not a penny

more continuing to pay a police widow her

pension should she decide to re-marry or

move in with a partner, than it would if she

remained living alone.

Northern Ireland is rightfully proud of

this achievement and having granted justice

to its RUC widows.

You told me in your speech that as, ‘…

someone from an ordinary working class

family, life for me is harder than many people

in Westminster realise’.

I would like them to realise that I have

been made redundant on more than one

occasion and now, as someone with a

six-hour a week temporary contract and a

chronic disability, I remain in constant fear of

losing my job.

My daughter suffers from the same

debilitating illness and she also suffers from

depression – in your speech you acknowledge

that for those with mental health problems,

‘there’s not enough help to hand’.

She works incredibly hard to make up for

the times that she is ill, but if she has any

more time off work within the next six

months she will almost certainly find herself

looking for a new job and the cycle will begin

again.

Kelly and her partner will never have a

mortgage of their own with such a

precarious employment status.

I am 52 and my partner is three years

away from retirement, he earns less than the

average UK salary. As you rightly say, life for

folks like us is a struggle.

Please understand that it takes a lot for

me to swallow my pride and speak publicly in

this way but I have so many people

depending on me.

You have promised me: “The Government

I lead will be driven, not by the interests of

the privileged few, but by yours. We will do

everything we can to give you more control

over your lives.”

I feel less in control at this point in my life

than I ever have before – that’s quite an

admission when you consider I was a widow

and single parent by the time I was 24.

Your party has been described as the

‘modern, compassionate, one nation

Conservative Party’.

The average age of a police widow is 72

- the compassionate take care of their

vulnerable and elderly. There is no

compassion in making us choose between

our pensions and lasting future happiness.

You promised me and my family: “When

it comes to taxes, we’ll prioritise not the

wealthy, but you.”

I’m not one of the ‘wealthy’. All I ask is for

the ‘mighty’ to reinstate the police widow’s

pension that Colin paid for; he would be so

upset if he knew that his family had not been

taken care of in the way that he intended.

I talked to Kelly and asked her what she

missed most of all about Colin and she said:

“When I see Dads and daughters together I

always wonder what it would feel like to still

be able to hold his hand, to remember what

he sounded and smelt like, and what it

would be like to still be able to hug him and

do the day to day things – like to talk to him.”

In the scheme of things it is not much for

a daughter to wish that she could speak to

her father, to hug him or to hold his hand.

You can’t give her those things Mrs May and

neither can I. But what I would like to be able

to do is remove some of the stress from her

life and the reinstatement of my pension

would go a small way towards helping me to

do that.

It’s what her father would have done had

he lived to see his precious little girl grow up.

In your speech you said that if my family

was one that was, ‘just managing’ you

wanted to address me directly and I believe

that you have. Now, as Prime Minister, you

have the opportunity to show me that you

meant what you said.

In your speech – the one in which you

spoke directly to me - you said: “When we

pass new laws, we’ll listen not to the mighty,

but to you.”

To be fair, you did listen to me with half

an ear as Home Secretary when I asked you

to grant all police widows pensions for life.

On the day that I visited Downing Street

with a group of supporters in 2015, and a

week after the tragic death of Merseyside PC

Dave Phillips, you announced in the House of

Commons that the survivors of officers killed

on duty would receive life-long pensions.

As Dave Phillips joined the regular force

in 2006, he would have been a member of

the 2006 Police Pension Scheme so to

mention his sad loss in your announcement

was disingenuous and fewer than 300

widows are likely to have benefited from

those changes.

You finished your acceptance speech by

saying: “We are living through an important

moment in our country’s history.”

Indeed the Government made history in

granting the survivors of police officers killed

on duty pensions for life, but Northern

Ireland and Scotland both part of our

‘precious, precious union’ have gone further

than that.

You clearly have a loving marriage, Mrs

May - please do not deny this privilege to the

widows of those officers who served their

communities so well.

You cannot make history as the first

woman Prime Minister of this great nation of

ours but you can be the first to grant life-long

pensions to ALL police widows.

Only then will I believe that you truly

intended to address me directly when you

made your acceptance speech.

Until then it remains just words.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Cathryn L. Hall

Co-ordinator, Police Widow’s Pension

Campaign

www.westmidspolfed.com

federation August/September 2016 11


Officers given one

per cent pay rise

Police officers have been awarded a one

per cent pay rise.

But the decision has been met with

anger and disappointment by the Police

Federation of England and Wales which had

submitted detailed evidence to support its

claim for a 2.8 per cent pay rise.

The Police Remuneration Review Body

(PRRB) announced on 6 July that it had

rejected this element of the Police

Federation submission.

“I am in no doubt at all that officers will

see this as something of an insult,” says Tom

Cuddeford, interim chairman of West

Midlands Police Federation, “This

announcement comes not so long after MPs

were given a 10 per cent increase.

“Police officers have understood their

need to share the pain of the austerity

measures but it really does seem that they

are being made to burden more than their

fair share while others continue to enjoy

substantial pay increases.

“Police officers hold a unique place in

society and, while they don’t join the job to

become wealthy, there is a reasonable

expectation that their pay should reflect the

duties they undertake.

“Day in, day out they put their lives on

the line to protect the public and all too

often they – and their families – pay the

ultimate price as they put themselves in

harm’s way while serving their

communities.”

The PRRB decided, in line with the

Federation’s evidence, that the pay increase

should be consolidated, dismissing chief

officers’ views that it should be nonconsolidated,

which would have meant the

increase would not have been pensionable.

It also agreed public holiday pay should

not be reduced and away from home

overnight allowance should be retained.

Steve White, national chairman of the

Police Federation of England and Wales,

said: “The PRRB clearly hasn’t listened to the

reasons why we called for a 2.8 per cent

increase on pay, however, it agrees with us

on almost every other point we put forward.

“The Home Office and Treasury

acknowledge that the UK economy grew by

2.9 per cent in 2014, yet the Government

still expects hard-working police officers to

further tighten their belts. This will further

impact on the low morale among police

officers who have told us and the PRRB that

they already feel over worked, undervalued

and unappreciated.

“The Government talks of austerity

measures, but this clearly applies to some

more than others. The bitter irony won’t be

lost on officers that all public sector pay

review bodies have had their hands

effectively tied to fit the Government’s fiscal

agenda and rhetoric of cuts, while MPs

themselves enjoyed a pay increase of 10 per

cent.”

He said police officers perform a vital,

extraordinary and unique function in society,

explaining: “We run towards danger and

threats when others can walk away; we are

the emergency service of last resort that

people come to when they have nowhere

else and no-one else to turn to. Therefore, a

one per cent pay increase will feel like a kick

in the teeth for the 122,000 dedicated,

professional and committed police officers

who put the lives and welfare of those we

serve ahead of their own.”

E-voting is coming soon

It’s important you keep your details up to date with us so we can keep you updated

on Federation matters and to be sure you get informed of when the e-voting for the

Federation elections begins.

So it’s essential we all have your details especially your personal email address!

Go to www.westmidspolfed.com/contact/update

12 federation August/September 2016

www.westmidspolfed.com


Thank you, Peggy

Federation representative Peggy Lamont has

been praised as being a ‘credit to the Federation’.

Writing to interim chairman Tom Cuddeford,

one member felt she had to ‘give credit where

credit’s due’ and thank Peggy.

She wrote: “I wanted to take the time to

praise one of your representatives. I feel it’s

extremely important especially given the current

morale situation that we give credit where

credit’s due. I also feel that the Federation itself

also gets a lot of ‘bad press’ within our stations

which I felt should be put right.

“I have got to say, Peggy Lamont is an

absolute credit to the Police Federation. I

couldn’t have dreamt of anything better.

“She has been so supportive and informative;

she tells me the facts opposed to what I may

want to hear which enables me to be completely

informed.

“I have sadly felt very unsupported in the job

while going through a difficult time with my health and never expected my support

to come from a Federation several officers think does nothing for us.

“I thank Peggy all the time but I just don’t feel that it’s enough. I’d really like her

to receive some kind of recognition and I hope this email does that.”

National Police

Memorial Day service

Plans are well underway for this year’s National Police Memorial Day (NPMD).

The annual event will be held at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral on Sunday 25

September starting at 3pm.

Officers of all ranks from forces up and down the country gather at the event each

year to honour police officers killed in the line of duty. They are joined by Government

officials and the families of fallen officers.

Last year’s event was held in Edinburgh and had a congregation of 1,200.

Tom Cuddeford, interim chairman of West Midlands Police Federation, said: “This

annual event never fails to remind us all of the sacrifices officers make on a daily basis.

“It gives us a chance to honour our former colleagues and also show their families

that their sacrifice has not been forgotten.

“For the families and friends of fallen officers, it provides an opportunity for them

to support each other and know the policing family is always there for them.”

www.westmidspolfed.com

Peggy Lamont, Personnel and

Equalities Committee secretary.

Federation

roadshows

continue to

be a success

West Midlands Police Federation is

continuing to hold a series of roadshows

across the Force area - with the next one at

Holford Drive Custody Suite next month.

The events aim to make it even easier for

members to speak to Federation officials and

find out more about the services it offers.

Recent roadshows held at Stechford

Police Station, Wolverhampton and Sutton

Coldfield were well attended.

The next session is on Monday 5

September at Holford Drive Custody Suite,

Perry Bar between 10am and 4pm.

Members will be able to seek pension

calculations, discuss any concerns they may

have with Federation representatives and

full-time WMPF officials and talk to member

services providers to discuss the services they

can provide.

Free Federation merchandise will be

available and you can also enter a prize draw

to win a £50 Amazon voucher.

Future roadshows will be:

Thursday 3 November at Brierley Hill – 10am

until 3pm.

Bumps and

Babies goes

from strength

to strength

The Force’s ‘Bumps and Babies’ initiative is

expanding as it continues to go from

strength to strength.

Due to its growing popularity it now

includes FCID and over recent weeks more

sessions have been held, with the latest one

taking place at Tally Ho.

The session was open to all PPU/FCID

staff who are pregnant or on paternity,

maternity or adoption leave. Supervisors

wanting to learn more about the group

were also invited to attend.

This session focused on adoption and

there was an opportunity to speak to staff

who have gone through the process.

PPU Commander Claire Bell and FCID

Senior Investigating Officer DCI Caroline

Marsh, along with the Police Federation, HR

and Shared Services also attended, and

topics such as Keep in Touch (KIT) days, pay,

child care vouchers and flexible working

were all discussed.

federation August/September 2016 13


You protect us.

We protect you.

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understand that police work

can be challenging and stressful,

but with us by your side, dealing

with legal issues needn’t be.

For over 50 years, we have

been defending, advising and

representing thousands of police

officers just like you.

With offices throughout the UK,

we are the only firm to offer a

full range of legal services to

the Police Federation.

Legal services:

Crime and misconduct allegations

Personal injury claims - on or off duty

Family law

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Police pensions

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0800 908 977

slatergordon.co.uk/police-law

14 federation August/September 2016

Slater and Gordon (UK) LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

www.westmidspolfed.com


Appeal to fund operation

to enable two-year-old to

walk reaches £26,000

An appeal launched by a Wolverhampton

officer to fund an operation to enable her

two-year-old daughter to walk has hit

£26,000 and is still rising.

DC Natalie Hughes launched the appeal

earlier this year. Her daughter Millie has

spastic diplegia cerebral palsy so cannot walk

unaided. Her twin, Evan, is unaffected.

Thanks to the support of West Midlands

Police Federation, the Force Benevolent Fund

and fund-raising officers, family and friends

the fund is getting closer to its £40,000

target.

The money will pay for an operation

called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) which

Natalie and her family hope Millie can have

next year when she is three.

The Federation has donated £6,000 to

the appeal while the Benevolent Fund has

donated £3,000.

There has also been a great deal of

support from across the Force with many

LPUs donating the proceeds of their ‘tuck

shops’ to the appeal.

Staff at Wolverhampton LPU raised £400

through cake sales with more to come. They

have a raffle planned too.

And the Federation’s roadshow at

Wolverhampton on 21 June also helped

boost the funds with a raffle.

Prizes included an Alcatel Pixi3 8GB

tablet, £100 Marks and Spencer vouchers,

£50 John Lewis vouchers, £25 Café Rouge

vouchers, a bottle of whisky, a case of wine

and a bottle of wine. Prizes were kindly

donated by: O2, George Burrows, Cartwright

King, the Fed, Police Credit Union, Police

Mutual and Slater & Gordon.

Other fund-raising in the pipeline

includes:

l A charity football match in Brereton,

Rugeley on 30 July

l Stafford Blues with a Touch of Rock

Festival championing Millie’s cause

during the event which is 1 to 3

September at Lower Drayton Farm

l A 70-mile bike ride on 1 October with

Natalie, her husband Chris and quite a

few police officers – including PC Paul

Grimley, DC Paul Jones, DC Andy Higgins

and PC Chris Jackson - taking part. It will

start at Abbots Bromley and finish at The

Movement Centre at Agnes Hunt, which

works with children with problems

affecting movement

l A fashion show on 28 October at

Abbots Bromley Village Hall starting at

7pm

l PS Charles “Sid” James organising a

boxing match in November

l A black tie ball in February.

Meanwhile, the family have attended

the Portland Hospital in London for an

open day about the SDR surgery and met a

family whose little boy had the surgery in

January.

“Hopefully, Millie can have the op

there,” says Natalie, “The family we spoke

Natalie with Millie.

to said the SDR operation is life-changing.

We saw the little boy walking with sticks

(really quickly) and going up stairs! His range

of movement in his leg had massively

increased.

“Obviously, there is still a lot of work to

do as it’s only six months since the op but it

looks like he is on track to walk

independently.”

For more details on any of the above

events or to donate to the cause visit

https://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/

just4children/milliebeaswalkingwish or to

help fund-raise contact Natalie on

natss1982@hotmail.com

www.westmidspolfed.com

August/September 2016 15


Member welfare: your

Group Insurance cover

The West Midlands Police Federation

Group Insurance Scheme covers an

array of welfare issues of which

members may not be aware.

For example, did you know that as part

of the life insurance cover, you have access

to a 24-hour bereavement counselling and

probate advice helpline, which gives

confidential support with unlimited

telephone access? The service provides

emotional help and specialist legal advice

on all aspects of obtaining probate.

The summaries below highlight some

of the other welfare benefits of the Group

Insurance Scheme package.

Best Doctors

The Best Doctors service provides the peace

of mind of a confidential second expert

medical opinion if a member, partner or

their dependent children up to the age of

21 (25 if still in full-time education) and

living with them, are facing a worrying

medical condition.

Best Doctors works in conjunction with

the patient and the treating doctor to

ensure diagnosis and treatment are correct,

providing an independent and

comprehensive assessment.

The scheme works with a panel of more

than 53,000 world-renowned medical

experts. Unlimited access to the Member

Care Centre is included, providing a

confidential telephone based helpline,

which is available 24 hours a day, seven

days a week, throughout the year.

16 federation August/September 2016

www.westmidspolfed.com


RedArc

RedArc is part of the critical Illness cover

provided by the Group Insurance Scheme

package. The aim of the service is to

support and help members and their

families cope with the practical and

emotional effects of the diagnosis of a

serious illness.

On submission of a critical illness

claim, the claimant will automatically be

contacted by a member of the RedArc

nurse team to introduce the service.

RedArc nurses are subject to the strictest

standards of medical confidentiality.

In addition to providing ongoing advice

and support, the personal nurse adviser

may arrange extra help if clinically

appropriate, for example, a one-off home

visit from a specialist nurse, a course of

physiotherapy, a course of counselling, or

similar.

The personal nurse adviser can also put

the patient in contact with specialist

charities and self-help groups, and give

advice on specialist equipment to aid

function. These services are provided free

of charge. RedArc strives to support

claimants in whichever way they need.

Sick pay (Reg 28)

Sickness benefits are applicable to serving

officers through the Group Insurance

package. If an officer is placed on reduced

pay, the scheme will send them a cheque

every 28 days, for the amount of £165 per

week. The benefits will be payable for a

maximum of 26 weeks or until the officer

returns to work, whichever occurs first.

Financial welfare consultant

As part of the service provided to members

through the scheme, Caroline Harris, an

independent consultant who has more

than 25 years’ hands on experience

working alongside the police service, offers

free confidential and one to one help to

support officers with any financial issues

that may arise throughout their police

career and into retirement.

For further information or to book an

appointment please contact the

Federation office on 0121 700 1200.

Full details of the cover included in the

West Midlands Police Federation Group

Insurance Scheme can be found in the

policy wordings which are available from

the Federation office and George Burrows.

Please read these carefully, in particular

the terms and conditions.

West Midlands Police Federation is an Appointed

Representative of Heath Lambert Limited and

George Burrows is a trading name of Heath

Lambert Limited, which is authorised and

regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Registered Office: The Walbrook Building, 25

Walbrook, London EC4N 8AW. Registered in

England and Wales. Company Number: 1199129.

Part of Arthur J. Gallagher.

UPDATE: Mobile phone / gadget cover

- policy excess

For members in the Group Insurance

package, there has been a change to

the excess on the mobile phone/gadget

cover policy. An additional lower tier of

excess has been added as follows:

£25 excess for items valued up to £250

(when new)

£50 excess for items valued up to

£1,000 (when new)

It was previously £50 regardless of the

value.

Mobile phone/gadget cover – ‘Apple

swap’

If you have an Apple phone or gadget,

you may prefer to take the item to your

local Apple store for repair or

replacement.

You will first need to call the claim

number to ensure your claim is

successful after which you will be given

details on how to proceed with an

Apple service. On receipt of your till

receipt from the Apple Store, the

insurer will deduct the excess fee and

reimburse you for the remainder of the

cost, up to £200.

www.westmidspolfed.com

federation August/September 2016 17


Mental health

Supporting members

as mental health

concerns grow

West Midlands Police Federation has been at the

forefront of a drive to tackle officer stress and the

effects this can have on mental health.

For several years, we have worked with Professor Jonathan Houdmont from the University of

Nottingham to carry out officer stress surveys across the Force and, in turn, use the findings to

urge senior officers to tackle the issue.

On the back of this, the national Federation worked in partnership with Prof Houdmont to

carry out a nationwide survey on officer stress and mental health with the interim results being

discussed at the national conference in May in a session headlined ‘How blue is the thin blue line?’

“This session was, for me, one of the highlights of this year’s conference,” says Tom Cuddeford,

interim chairman of West Midlands Police Federation, “The survey, which was carried out earlier

this year, confirmed what we have known for a long time. Officers are feeling under pressure

trying to balance demand and capacity and their mental wellbeing is considerably poorer than

that found in the general adult population.

“But, it was also interesting to find out that there was a mixed perception of the support

available to officers and also that there was a need for better training for line managers so they

can identify when officers may need that support.

“As a Federation, we are committed to doing all we can to support officer wellbeing and I

would encourage anyone who feels under mental strain to speak up and seek support. Early

intervention can be crucial in terms of long-term wellbeing and I cannot emphasise too much

that officers should not see asking for help as a sign of weakness.”

Over the next few pages, we are featuring just some of the support available and our

Viewpoint feature on Pages 23 to 25 gives first-hand reports of some of the issues officers are

facing.

If you feel you – or a colleague – would benefit from extra support, please contact your

Federation workplace representative, the Federation office or interim chairman Tom Cuddeford.

18 federation August/September 2016

www.westmidspolfed.com


Flint House – supporting body and mind

Most officers are aware that Flint House

provides excellent treatments for those in

need of physical rehabilitation and intensive

physiotherapy.

But, fewer are aware that it also has a

health and wellbeing department

specialising in psychological intervention

and calls upon the expertise of general and

mental health nurses, as well as a dedicated

psychological therapist.

There are two application forms for Flint

House – one for physical conditions and one

for psychological issues. These are available

to members subscribing to Flint House

through the West Midlands Police

Benevolent Fund office.

And, as a result of current concerns, the

Chief Constable has confirmed that officers

can now attend for 10 days without using

their own annual leave.

“This is a very welcome move,” says Tom

Cuddeford, interim chairman of West

Midlands Police Federation, “I think it will be

particularly good for officers feeling the

strain mentally; the last thing they need to

worry about is whether time at Flint House

needs to be taken out of their own leave

time. This should ease some of the pressure

they feel and might even encourage more

officers to seek help rather than trying to

battle on and perhaps making matters

worse.”

After filling out an application form,

officers will undergo a telephone

assessment with one of the Flint House

mental health clinicians before being

admitted to the centre and allocated to the

most appropriate treatment programme.

Group therapy will be the treatment of

choice with individual sessions of therapy as

deemed appropriate by the clinician. Regular

structured exercise will be included in the

programmes.

All patients at Flint House can attend

wellbeing classes covering stress

management, sleep and relaxation,

nutrition and health, pilates and

aromatherapy.

The group programme

Flint House provides a 10-day psychological

group programme which focuses on raising

awareness of distress and learning coping

strategies to deal with multiple emotional

problems.

The treatment helps to beat burn-out

and to build resilience for serving police

officers.

The programme is supported by positive

patient feedback and includes individual

stand-alone therapeutic sessions that

educate on problems such as:

l Accumulative stress

l Anxiety

l Generalised anxiety disorder

l Sleep problems

l Anger and irritability

l Social phobia/agoraphobia

l Bipolar

l Low mood and depression

l Post-traumatic stress.

The Flint House team help officers learn

to identify their helpful and unhelpful

coping patterns, modify behaviours to

improve wellbeing and develop selfmanagement

skills.

Psychological services

Alongside the group programme, Flint

House offers individual key working and

individual support sessions with trained

members of the health and wellbeing team.

Other activities

Patients can attend wellbeing classes as well

as:

l Health checks

l Aromatherapy appointments

l Relaxation sessions

l Pilates

l Sleep hygiene classes

l

l

Stress management classes, and

Nutrition classes.

If you subscribe to Flint House and feel

you would benefit from the support of the

health and well-being team, please contact

the WMP Benevolent Fund office.

If you do not subscribe and would like to

find out more, please also contact the office.

www.westmidspolfed.com

federation August/September 2016 19


Mental health

Mind leading the way with

Blue Light Programme

A survey by the leading mental health

charity Mind has shown that 91 per cent of

police officers, staff and volunteers have

experienced stress and poor mental health

at work.

The findings revealed that while police

personnel are more likely than the general

population to experience a mental health

problem they were less likely to take time

off work as a result.

But it also highlighted two significant

issues:

l 71 per cent of emergency staff do not

think their organisation encourages

them to talk about mental health,

compared to 45 per cent in the general

l

workforce

Organisational upheaval was the most

commonly cited trigger.

And this is where Mind’s Blue Light

Programme comes in offering support to

emergency staff and volunteers in the

police, fire, ambulance and search and

rescue services. The programme aims to

make emergency workers more aware and

responsive to their own mental health

issues, and those of their colleagues; more

resilient and better able to manage their

own mental health and empowered with

more information and support.

It also wants employers to be more

aware of the importance and value of

employees’ mental health, better equipped

to support their staff’s mental health and

prepared to lead work to address mental

health stigma and discrimination.

“The Blue Light Programme is tackling

the stigma of mental health head-on and

achieving some great results in raising

awareness and giving access to support,”

says Tom Cuddeford, interim chairman of

West Midlands Police Federation.

“I would urge anyone who feels they

may be suffering stress or mental health

issues to find out more about the

programme. There are lots of ways officers

can get involved to help not just themselves

but also their colleagues. By raising

awareness of mental health and the

support available, we can all play our part.”

Evaluation of the first year pilot of the

programme, which ended in March this

year, showed that thousands of people have

actively challenged mental health stigma,

learnt more about mental health and

improved their wellbeing and support with

the Blue Light Programme.

But the charity says there is still a high

level of stigma attached to mental health

problems and low levels of awareness of the

support available.

The Blue Light Programme has four key

areas of work:

Tackling stigma and discrimination – 63

organisations have signed the Blue Light

Time To Change Pledge so far and

applications are now open to sign this year,

more than 500 Blue Light Champions have

been registered and 80 of these have been

trained as peer supporters. Find out more at

www.mind.org.uk/bluelight

Boosting workplace wellbeing - 5,226 line

managers have undertaken Mind training so

far.

Building resilience – ensuring staff are

better able to cope with potential mental

health problems. More than 450 people

have attended a resilience course and 180

people received online information.

Accessing information – more than 300,000

information booklets, aimed particularly at

emergency staff, were distributed.

But, above all, it wants people to get

involved with the programme by:

l Spreading the word

l Following them on twitter @

MindBlueLight and tweeting using

#mybluelight

l Adding the Blue Light Programme

banner email signatures

l Linking to www.mind.org.uk/bluelight

through social media

l

l

l

l

l

Becoming a Blue Light Champion

Watching the webinars

Registering your interest in the resilience

and line manager training on the website

Ordering an information booklet

Registering for regular updates.

Do you need support?

If you feel you need information on mental

health, advice or signposting to local support

services, you can contact the confidential

infoline on 0300 303 5999, text 84999 or

email: bluelightinfo@mind.org.uk

Or ring the Samaritans on 08457 90 90

90 - lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a

year.

Get involved with Elefriends - a

supportive online community moderated by

Mind where you can listen, share and be

heard.

Talk to your GP.

If you need urgent help please go to the

Mind website and click the yellow button at

the top which says ‘I need urgent help’.

20 federation August/September 2016

www.westmidspolfed.com


‘You are never alone’

‘Whatever the problem, you are never alone.

We are here for you’ – that is the key

message of the Welfare Support Programme

(WSP), an initiative providing help and

support for officers in crisis 24/7.

The programme is a joint initiative by

the Police Firearms Officers’ Association

(PFOA) and the Police Federation of England

and Wales and is open to subscribing

members of the Federation, PFOA members

and their immediate families.

It is specifically for officers involved in

incidents involving death or serious injury

resulting in post-incident investigations and

those suspended from duty or part of gross

misconduct procedures but can also step in

to support officers suffering Post Traumatic

Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other stress-related

illnesses. It is open to any officer who it is

felt is in need of the programme following

consultation between the Federation and

the PFOA.

“Make use of us,” says Stuart Haythorn,

the programme’s welfare officer, “We want

to make it easier for officers to get the

support they need.”

There are currently 310 officers across

England and Wales being supported by the

programme.

“It does makes you wonder who would

be available to support these officers if the

programme was not there. We have referred

officers to it to ensure that they have had

the extra help and support they need,” says

Tom Cuddeford, interim chairman of West

Midlands Police Federation, “The programme

provides invaluable support to the

Federation and, critically, to police officers. It

means there is always someone there at the

end of the telephone.

“But it can also benefit the immediate

family of an officer because more often than

not they will be affected too. So that can

include partners, dependants and anyone

living in the same household.”

The programme provides a 24/7 support

line manned by trained professionals and a

full-time welfare support officer, Stuart, who

will work alongside Federation

representatives.

The telephone staff have had training in

police discipline and post incident

procedures and are mental health first aid

trained.

With an officer’s permission, they can

evidence their needs and present them to

the relevant force or the Federation so that

they can promptly obtain the support

recommended, such as NLP coaching,

counselling or other therapies.

The programme has just come to the

end of the first year of a two-year pilot and

work is ongoing to form partnerships, and to

develop the service through the feedback

from officers and Federation contacts.

The West Midlands Police Federation

lead on this programme is Tom Cuddeford.

Please contact Tom on 07976 068273 or

email tcuddeford@westmids.polfed.org if

you want to find out more about the WSP or

if you feel you – or a colleague - would

benefit from extra support.

Make use of us, we want to make it

easier for officers to get the support

“they need.


www.westmidspolfed.com

federation August/September 2016 21


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22 federation August/September 2016

www.westmidspolfed.com


VIEWPOINT

This year’s Police Federation conference included a session

entitled “How blue is the thin blue line?” and considered

the growing number of officers suffering mental health

issues. We asked our officers:

Do you feel more officers are suffering mental health

issues, and if so why?

Are you aware of the support available to officers feeling

mental strain? Please give details.

Do you feel the Force should do more to support these

officers?

What help would you like to see?

Officer with 15 years’ service

Do you feel more officers are

suffering mental health issues, and

if so why?

I believe this is a question being

asked of the whole population, not

just the police force, and one for

which the answer will be linked to

many facets of modern life and not

simply dependent on particular

careers or occupations.

As with many other aspects of

modern life, I believe it is true to say

that, in general, people are more

likely to discuss subjects like their

mental health than they were even 10

years ago. This increased confidence

stems from two main improvements

– an increased awareness of the

symptoms, and an increased

confidence in being ‘understood’.

I accept that the police force may

expose people to situations that are

inherently ‘more stressful’ than what

could be viewed as the ‘average job’.

However, I do not believe that the role

of police officer has really changed

that significantly over the past 20

years to solely account for the rise in

mental ill-health.

That said, I do absolutely agree

that aspects of the role (uniform

policing in particular) have become

more pressurised; whether that be

because of practices such as

increased performance-monitoring

based on simple, cold, numbers

(quantity of IMS/stops/arrests/FPN’s

etc); the increased occurrence or fear

of being a target of abuse and/or

assault while at work; or the basic fact

that, in real terms, salaries have been

www.westmidspolfed.com

falling for a number of years. These

are all factors that can, when

accompanied with, or even multiplied

by, the increased stresses of ‘normal

modern life’, result in conditions more

likely to contribute to mental illhealth.

Are you aware of the support

available to officers feeling mental

strain? Please give details.

I am able to comment from a

relatively insightful position as I have

struggled with depression since my

teens. Now, as a 37-year-old police

officer, I have a certain level of

experience of the mental health

world, not least the practices and

processes of the services available to

help, be that via the NHS or our very

own occupational health. I am

actually part way through a phased

return to work following a fairly

severe ‘episode’ earlier this year, so

my experience is both current as well

as historic.

My experience of Force practices

and the support available is mixed to

say the least. On paper, although

policies and practices are fairly

sound and pushing in the right

direction, they are definitely in need

of re-evaluation and expansion

utilising the knowledge and opinions

of the sufferers themselves. On an

individual level, I have experienced

great empathy, care and willingness

to understand from virtually every

supervisor and member of occ health.

However, I have also experienced

some fundamental errors -

predominantly through a lack of

knowledge as opposed to any

individual or corporate malice.

Do you feel the Force should do more

to support these officers?

Yes. Although the Force should take

heart in the improvements already

implemented over the past 10 years,

there is still a fundamental

misunderstanding of mental ill-health

within society as a whole.

As a brief starter, even the term

‘mental health’ acts as a divisor,

seemingly drawing a disparity

between mental health and ‘normal

health’. Mental health is often viewed

as purely ‘emotional’ and therefore

somehow more transient and more

easily fixed than broken bones.

Although mental ill-health can

indeed exhibit itself in an array of

polarised emotional states, these

emotions are the symptoms of an

illness, not the cause.

I fully accept that an

understanding of any subject can be

more difficult without personal

experience, so I do not blame anyone

for not understanding completely. But

a greater knowledge can always be

attained through a little learning from

the right sources.

What help would you like to see?

I would recommend some sort of occ

health action group be created to

reassess the policies and procedures

around ill-health matters,

incorporating sufferers, members of

every supervisory level, outside

experts, and even the spouses/

partners/family of sufferers who can

add insight in to how decisions taken

within ‘the job’ can reverberate into

the home and affect people with no

direct affiliation with the police at all.

Officer with 21 years’ service

More officers are suffering mental

health due to increased work

pressures, the lack of real concern

from senior managers for staff that

they may not have contact with, the

threat of injury, or worse due to a lack

of officers if the wheel should come

off. Supervisors in certain roles do not

have an understanding of the role

they are doing or how to resolve work

based issues, due to them having

being posted to, rather than applying

for, the post they are in.

I am not aware that there is any

help for officers within work. I am

aware of the contact details to speak

to someone within the health service.

I feel that the Force should support

officers more. In the last 18 months I

have had to have two weeks off due

to stress/mental health issues. Even

now, despite having changed role at

my request there are times/days

when I could easily drive off and not

Continued on Page 24

federation JAugust/September 2016 23


VIEWPOINT

Continued from Page 23

come back. I have domestic issues

with two autistic children in specialist

education, and a wife who has quite

complex medical conditions. Even so,

having requested help at Health

MOT, I was sent to an appointment

and told ‘We can’t help, and don’t

know what you want us to do’.

If an officer had a broken leg we

would be all over it trying to get them

to return in some way making

physical contact with them and

encouraging them to return. With

mental health, you may as well say

‘They’ve got Ebola, keep them in

isolation and appear to make contact’.

Supervisors just don’t know what to

say or are scared of upsetting officers.

I’d like to see a real meaningful

and well thought out approach to

officer wellbeing no matter what the

issue may be, and that we provide

specialist assistance for our officers

using the ‘People Deal’ to help those

with genuine difficulties, so that they

have a supportive environment

while at work and this is a positive

influence on their wellbeing.

Officer with 23 years’ service

Do you feel more officers are

suffering mental health issues, and

if so why?

Yes, it would appear so. I believe that

many cases, however, are probably

still going unreported due to the

stigma that still exists around mental

health. I would put it down to a

constant change/cuts in service etc.

Are you aware of the support

available to officers feeling mental

strain? Please give details.

None other than occupational health.

Do you feel the Force should do more

to support these officers?

Yes, absolutely. I would like to see

better counselling facilities and

trained dedicated staff with a better

understanding of mental health.

Officer with 9 years’ service

Do you feel more officers are

suffering mental health issues, and

if so why?

I am not sure that more officers are

suffering with mental health issues, I

do feel that more officers are open

about their mental health and don’t

hide it as the stigma that used to be

behind it is no longer there. WMP is

24 federation August/September 2016

definitely a more open environment

for officers to feel safe in disclosing

personal issues.

I am aware of the support that is

accessible to officers and the external

agencies that officers can contact in

confidence.

Do you feel the Force should do more

to support these officers?

I feel that WMP does not offer enough

support for individuals and although I

am aware of the services available I

know having tried to access support

at occupational health the referral

process is poor, individuals have

‘slipped’ through the net, individuals

who have requested support have

been denied it being told that the

counsellor is off sick with stress.

WMP needs to have access to

more than one counsellor, although

we have a stream of phone numbers

sometimes for agencies, seeing a face

is what some individuals need rather

than a phone call.

We spend many days visiting

others, helping others and dealing

with everyone else’s problems. We

are human too, we are delicate and

we may need a little support and

helping hand. We are not super

heroes who can deal with the things

we see week in week out without it

having an effect on us.

What help would you like to see?

I would like to see occ health easier to

access, the referral process shorter,

the ‘watching and waiting’ process to

be more personal and not a letter that

drops on the desk through the

internal post.

I know that officers in some


departments have to have regular

welfare checks due to the expected

stresses and traumas that they

endure; I think that this should be

open to more departments.

Many uniformed officers attend

awful incidents that stay with them

for life and sometimes they may need

to just talk in confidence to offload

some of the jobs to help process them.

I have known officers attend SUDIs

and struggle to deal with them, I think

that it should be standard for

individuals who attend such incidents

to visit occ health rather than the

supervisor have to refer for them to

receive a ‘watching and waiting’.

I was professionally embarrassed

when an officer asked for support

after a traumatic incident. I made a

referral to occ health and that arrived

through the internal to them. For such

a large organisation, I feel we need to

take care of our own as much as we

take care of the public.

Officer with 10 years’ service

Do you feel more officers are

suffering mental health issues, and

if so why?

I feel mental health in general is

more commonly discussed now by

officers, therefore is highlighted more.

Are you aware of the support

available to officers feeling mental

strain?

Not aware.

Do you feel the Force should do more

to support these officers?

Yes, mental health issues are not easy

to admit having and seeking help can

More officers are suffering mental

health due to increased work

pressures, the lack of real concern

from senior managers for staff that

they may not have contact with, the

threat of injury, or worse due to a lack

of officers if the wheel should come off.

Supervisors in certain roles do not

have an understanding of the role

they are doing or how to resolve work

based issues, due to them having

being posted to, rather than applying

for, the post they are in.


www.westmidspolfed.com


e very difficult. As officers, on a

daily basis we support and help

those with mental health issues when

on occasions we are too afraid to

admit we at times also require

support.

It’s like there is a stigma attached

to admit you need support or don’t

feel well; almost like a sign of

weakness. Maybe it’s just the nature

of the job but I personally feel you

would be penalised for admitting

needing help, placed into a role

you’re not happy with and watched.

What help would you like to see?

People to start being more openminded.

Officer with 14 years’ service

Are more officers suffering with

mental health issues and why?

This is difficult to quantify. Define

mental health... depression? Anxiety?

Stress? ADHD? I would say if we are

including all these things then the

answer is a definite yes. There are

many reasons. Firstly, it is important

to consider factors beyond the

organisation’s control - adverse

changes to pay and pension

conditions, and terms of service. With

an ever-increasing living cost

people’s stress and tolerance levels

rise as their personal lives are being

negatively affected. At work, some

departments (PPU instantly springs to

mind) are seriously over-worked,

understaffed, and staff feel

unsupported.

We also live in previously

unimaginable levels of security due

to the current world climate, yet

decisions affecting the front-line

safety of officers are being made by

people in offices who are nice and

safe and are being made based on

cost implications! Is it any wonder so

many people are going off with stress

with the way the organisation treats

people? It is my strong opinion that

this organisation only cares about

you once you go off sick! Here is an

example. I recently approached my

direct supervisor as I had a specific

welfare concern to be told bluntly

“Go home then.” When I tried to

explain and clarify my position, I

was basically shouted at and told to

shut my mouth and go and do my

job, while being reminded of what

rank I hold. How very caring?!

Are you aware of support available

to officers suffering mental strain?

In all honesty, no. I have been

referred on several occasions

during my career to occupational

health, having suffered with

depression my entire adult life, and

having had two very bad

breakdowns while on duty in the

last four years alone. I have had

various experiences from

counselling, to refusal of

occupational health to see me on

the grounds that I wasn’t underperforming

so wasn’t a priority. But

it seems the goalposts keep

changing as to what help I can

have.

More recently it was clear my

line managers didn’t know what to

do with me when I was going

through a bad patch because all

they could come up with is: “We

want you to go back to your doctor

as we don’t think your medication is

working,” I was also told to go off

sick! When I refused to go off sick I

was asked why. I told a half truth. I

said I didn’t want to go home and

cause my family yet more concern

and worry. The truth is, why would I

go sick when I see messages

relating to my Bradford score every

time I log on to a computer? I can’t

speak for anyone else, of course, but

I do not feel able to speak freely as I

am certain it will be held against me.

In fact, even as I type I strongly

suspect I am being treated differently

to other people on my team and can

only think it is because I am seen as

difficult to manage.

Do you feel the Force should do more

to support these officers?

Simple. Yes. Far more...

What help would you like to see?

For a start, how about sincerity? I am

tired of being given corporate

answers. I am tired of feeling like I

cannot speak my mind for fear of it

being held against me. People in

positions of leadership need to start

being more approachable and giving

people honesty instead of saying

what the manual expects them to say.

I recently spoke to an inspector in

passing, just being polite, making

small talk. I asked how they were,

how their family were etc... When

said Inspector then asked me how I

was, I calmly replied: “I’m awful

thanks.” They did not know what to

say to me. I just walked away. I’m

afraid there is no trust and the people

at the top need to focus on rebuilding

this trust with their staff.

How about more widely available

counselling? It seems very hard to get

it at the moment. How about a

completely anonymous service where

you can get stuff off your chest and

not get given a corporate answer, to

alleviate stress levels? On a more

basic level, try to make people feel

more valued... regular one to ones

with supervisors where you can

speak freely and discuss concerns,

then have a tailored approach to any

individual specific concerns. Not

special treatment, just a tailored

approach.

www.westmidspolfed.com

federation August/September 2016 25


Honouring war-time hero

The grave of an officer who was killed while on duty in

1940 is given a facelift thanks to the support of West

Midlands Police Federation

PC William Alfred Mitchinson was just 25 when he

was killed on duty on 23 November 1940 having been

fatally injured by shrapnel while dealing with air raid

incidents.

His grave is in the graveyard at Elmdon Church, but

had become untidy and in need of some care.

Former officer Bob Faulkner noticed the grave was in

need of some restoration

and contacted West

Midlands Police Federation

to see if it could help.

The Force Cannabis

Disposal Team agreed to

assist, removing and

cleaning all of the green

glass stones before

replacing them, scrubbing

the lower stone clean and

tidying up the boundary of

the grave.

If cleaned, the writing

on the main headstone

would have come off so

this was left for the time

being.

Flowers were laid at

the grave by the team

along with a helmet, similar to the one which would

have been worn by PC Mitchinson.















26

federation August/September 2016

www.westmidspolfed.com


Can you ‘Share An Hour’

to help injured officers

and their families?

On 12 August

1966 three

police

officers were

murdered on duty in

London. This brutal

crime shocked the

nation and prompted

the foundation of the

Police Dependants’

Trust (PDT); a fund

to support seriously

injured officers and

the families of

officers killed on

duty.

Gill Scott-Moore, CEO of

the Police Dependants’

Trust.

This August, 50 years on from those

events, the PDT is asking people to Share An

Hour by donating an hour’s pay to mark the

sacrifice made by Sergeant Christopher Head

and Constables David Wombwell and Geoffrey

Fox, but also raise money to support

colleagues who find themselves in lifechanging

situations.

How to Share An Hour

Firstly, work out what an hour’s pay looks like

for you. As a rough guide:

£20,000 p/a = £9.62 per hour

£30,000 p/a = £14.42 per hour

£40,000 p/a = £19.23 per hour

£60,000 p/a = £28.85 per hour

Or you can work it out by visiting

https://salarybot.co.uk/

Of course, this is only a guide and any

amount you choose to give will help the PDT

continue its life-changing work.

Once you have decided how much you

would like to give, visit http://campaign.

justgiving.com/charity/pdt/shareanhour to

make your donation in a few simple clicks. If

applicable, Gift Aid will be added to your

donation which will make your donation go

even further.

Your donations will help to fund the full

range of PDT’s work. From grants which enable

disabled officers to remain independent in

their own home, to help for families who have

lost a loved one in the line of duty, to

improving support for serving officers

suffering from mental health issues, your gift

will make a difference to your colleagues.

You can read more about PDT’s work at

www.pdtrust.org

CEO’s blog

This is an important year for the Police Dependants’ Trust. We are

marking 50 years of supporting the police service and police families and

have much to celebrate but, of course, August offers a sombre reminder

of the trust’s beginnings.

On 12 August 1966, Metropolitan Police officers Sergeant Christopher

Head and Constables David Wombwell and Geoffrey Fox were on duty

in West London when they stopped a vehicle close to Wormwood Scrubs

Prison. They discovered one of the occupants was carrying a gun and

there were other weapons in the car.

As witness reports describe, the three officers lost their lives in brutal

circumstances. The incident caused outrage across the UK; such was the

public mood that a fund was quickly established to support the families

of fallen officers: the Police Dependants’ Trust. Donations flooded in.

Much has changed since 1966: the make-up of the service; the nature

of the incidents officers and staff deal with; the immense pressure you

are under, are all very different now. Some time ago we widened the

scope of our work so as to support officers who have suffered physical

and psychological injuries on duty.

Over the last year we have also widened both our eligibility criteria

and the circumstances in which we can help. If you’re not familiar with

our grants for individuals, our support for officers dealing with their own

mental health issues, or the assistance towards retraining we provide for

officers who have retired as a result of an injury on duty, please visit

http://www.pdtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/PDT-Support-for-

Officers-and-Organisations-May-2016.pdf

So while the police service has changed, what has remained pretty

constant is the demand for the support we offer. Since 1966 we have

helped around 7,000 officers and families; there’s as much - if not more

- of a need for our services now as there ever has been. Officers and staff,

especially those who have seen at first hand the life-changing impact

our grants have on their colleagues, often ask us how they can help.

So with this in mind, we’re hoping you will get behind our Share An

Hour campaign and donate one hour’s pay to the trust.

Your donation will not only support our important work, but you will

be helping to raise awareness of our services amongst your colleagues

and their families – some of whom may be in desperate need of help

right now. Christopher Head, David Wombwell and Geoffrey Fox are just

three of many officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. A great

many more have suffered life-changing injuries. By committing to Share

An Hour we can change lives together.

To find out more about the campaign and how you can Share An

Hour for your colleagues, please visit http://www.pdtrust.org/getinvolved/share-an-hour/

During August we will share uplifting stories

from some of the

people we have

helped in recent years

so you can see the

difference your gift will

make.

www.westmidspolfed.com

federation August/September 2016 27


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www.westmidspolfed.com


Police Credit

Union: Time for a

WINTER BLUES LOAN

?

In fact, it never hurts to take a step back

and review how we’re doing - it prevents

us taking anything for granted!

There’s been another case of this

recently, when we realised that members in

the West Midlands were ‘voting with their

feet’ – and the number of loans being taken

out was reducing.

Well, we did take a step back and we

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were perhaps being a bit TOO cautious in

the way we were deciding who would be

offered a loan, how quickly and for how

much.

Maybe we’d put too much emphasis on

processes – slowing things down – and

maybe we were being more careful than we

needed to. Perhaps we’d started to forget

why we exist – to serve members who want

and, sometimes, really need our help. The

ethos of the credit union you’ve known for

so many years via Guardians House must

remain intact.

As you’ll appreciate, knowing when it’s

appropriate to lend money is a complex

procedure and we have to balance our

members’ eagerness to get the loans they

want with the time it takes to make a

responsible credit assessment.

We have to remain ever mindful that we

are lending out savings predominantly

taken from your colleagues in the police

family and we have a duty to protect them.

But let me ‘cut to the chase’. We HAVE

made changes to the loan assessment

procedure…

We WILL try to provide loan decisions

faster…

We DO plan to offer more loans and win

members back from alternative providers

who might not always be offering members

the best deal they could get.

the police, for the police. We may have

grown but that does not change our reason

for existing or our desire to do the fair and

right thing for you in West Midlands force.

It’s worth remembering that we also

provide life insurance cover on loans (as well

Worried about those Winter Blues? Beat them by paying off your Christmas

spending, joining a gym, or booking a holiday to escape the winter weather.

Remember you can still apply for this loan for any other expense

as savings)

you

at no

may

extra cost,

incur!

subject to

expected terms and conditions. Plus, we

We want to get back to

make it easier to pay your regular loan

where we were

repayments, through deduction straight

Any amount between £500 and £2,000

from your salary.

To be clear, what we’ve done is to reempower

our over Birmingham 6 - branch 12 staff months

to

We charge the same rate, regardless of

Spread your repayments

credit history and there are no fees or early

make prompt decisions on loans of a higher

settlement charges. Interest is charged on

Representative 9.9% value APR than before and not to slow the

the reducing balance and not charged up

process by referring elsewhere in Police

front, as can happen with so many loans.

Credit Union (PCU).

Please take a look at our range of loans

Remember with PCU you are guaranteed: And, as always, we guarantee that your

at www.policecu.co.uk/loans. You’ll find

application will be assessed personally, by a

Life cover at no extra cost on savings

PCU

and

member

loans

of staff.

(subject to conditions) there’s a choice to suit most needs.

We’ve even included safe alternatives to

No arrangement fee, no early redemption This is fee important and no because, final at settlement many feethe infamous ‘payday loans’ and ‘doorstep

‘mainstream’ lenders, if there’s a slight query

Everyone pays the same, whatever over their someone’s credit credit rating

loans’. I hope you’ll see that we’ve taken

history, their

decisive action to respond to your comments

application may be automatically rejected,

and actions, to make PCU your ‘preferred

slowed down or have the interest rate

provider’ of loans in the future.

increased – there’s no room for dialogue or a

Ann, Natalie, Richard and Stacey at your

Apply on-line at www.policecu.co.uk/loans

closer look at the circumstances. We will

branch office are waiting to hear from you!

definitely not fob you off with ‘the computer

Call in at Guardians House or just call

or call 0845 241 7501 or 0121 says 700 no!’ 1240 or contact your local

0121

branch

700 1240.

As to the alternative lenders, I have to

admit that there are some good deals out

there – but please, do look beyond the

LOANS SUBJECT TO STATUS, CONDITIONS ‘headline & CREDIT rate’. CHECKS The quoted TO MEMBERS rate doesn’t AGED 18 & OVER

always apply to the size of loan you want.

Head Office: Guardians House, 2111 Coventry

Sometimes,

Road,

there

Sheldon,

are charges

Birmingham

for setting up

B26 3EA

the loan or penalties for early repayment.

Police Credit Union Ltd is authorised by the Prudential The Police Regulation Credit Union Authority was and set regulated up by by

the Financial Conduct Authority & the Prudential Regulation Authority (No 213306)

Not a member yet?

Join on-line today!

www.policecu.co.uk

www.westmidspolfed.com

federation August/September 2016 29


Going

through a

divorce?

Call us

before your

ex does.

Patricia Robinson

Senior Associate at

Slater and Gordon

We’ve been working with the Police

Federation for over fifty years –

longer than any other law firm.

No one understands better the unique

pressures of police work, and how to

protect your rights – especially your

pension. If you’re going through a

divorce, our fixed fee packages

start at £350 plus VAT and give you

access to some of the country’s best

family lawyers.

If you think we could help, call us on

0808 175 7710

slatergordon.co.uk/police-law

Offices throughout the UK.

30 federation August/September 2016

www.westmidspolfed.com

Slater and Gordon (UK) LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.


What happens

to my pension

after divorce?

By Patricia Robinson

Senior associate at Slater and Gordon

When a police officer is getting

divorced we are frequently asked

how they can protect their

pension. It is usually the largest asset aside

from the family home and can be fiercely

contested when couples separate.

However, many people don’t realise the

importance of dealing with matrimonial

finances, including a pension, at the same

time as their decree absolute of divorce.

Delay can leave an officer vulnerable to

losing a far higher proportion of their

pension.

I am currently acting for an officer who

waited 13 years after his separation to deal

with his finances. Had he acted at the time,

his spouse would have been entitled to 14

per cent share of his pension, drawing the

marriage to a financial end. However, the

delay now means she is looking to receive a

32 per cent share of his pension because she

can still try to make a claim on any money or

assets accrued in the intervening time.

This case illustrates how important it is

to reach a financial settlement and ensure it

is made legally binding at the same time as

divorce proceedings conclude, otherwise

financial claims remain open and an

ex-spouse can try to claim on any assets

accumulated after divorce.

It is important to be aware of the

process and engage the service of a solicitor

as soon as possible.

When going through a divorce, a spouse

is entitled to know how much an officer’s

pension is worth.

Once the value of the pension is known,

we will be in a position to consider what the

spouse’s claim is likely to be and how this

claim can be settled. If the spouse also has a

pension then this will need to be valued and

taken into account.

When the court is required to decide

how finances should be divided, the court

has to consider other factors including the

length of marriage with first consideration

being any children of the marriage. There are

also key principles in case law to consider

such as a party’s needs, sharing and

compensation.

Once needs have been met, the court will

consider contributions based arguments. For

example, if an officer joined the police force

in 1995, began cohabitating with their

partner in 2005 and then married in 2006,

should the pension which that officer

accrued between 1995 and 2005 be

excluded?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer.

Generally speaking, pensions are more likely

to be drawn upon to meet the financial

needs of the spouse if the marriage is long

and if there are children of the marriage.

If we can show that needs have been met

and there is no genuine need for pension

accrued outside of the relationship then we

are more likely to be successful in protecting

pre-relationship pension accrual.

If you require any advice on matrimonial

matters please do not hesitate to contact our

specialist family law team for a free

appointment on 0808 175 7710.

www.westmidspolfed.com

federation JAugust/September 2016 31


Choose your car or home insurance carefully!

When searching for insurance, you sometimes have to look behind the headline policy cost. Some insurers

may make charges for admin and cancellation fees, plus add interest for the flexibility of paying monthly.

Police Mutual takes a different approach. We have no admin fees and provide interest-free monthly payment

options - we could even save you an average of £130 for car insurance and £123 for home insurance too.*

Switch today and we’ll also pay any cancellation fee from your current insurer of up to £125.

Why wait for your renewal date?

1. Call 0800 111 4739

2. Visit policemutual.co.uk/insurance

We’re open from

9.00am - 5.00pm Mon-Fri

*Average premium savings of £130 and £123 are based on 19% of all car insurance members and 14% of all home insurance members who provided their existing premium and switched their

insurance (inbound sales only) from June 2015 - May 2016. Our car and home insurance is provided by RSA Insurance Group plc. PMGI Limited, trading as Police Mutual, is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England & Wales No 1073408. Registered office: Alexandra House, Queen Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6QS. Calls to 0800 numbers are

free from UK landlines and mobiles. For your security, all telephone calls are recorded and may be monitored.

32 federation August/September 2016 www.westmidspolfed.com

PMGI2260 0816


Family vacations

and relocations

As summer time draws closer

thoughts inevitably drift to

holidays. Difficult situations can

arise where parents are separated and one

intends to take the children away –

perhaps for a holiday abroad. What if one

parent intends to take the children to live

abroad - in this context meaning out of the

court’s jurisdiction of England and Wales

- or indeed to live elsewhere in England

and Wales? What is the law in this

situation?

Holiday out of jurisdiction

If the parent taking a child on holiday has a

residence order they can take the child out

of the jurisdiction for up to four weeks in

any year without needing formal consent.

In all other cases, the parent must get

either the consent of all other people with

Parental Responsibility of the child (usually

the other parent) or leave of the court.

Failure to do so could amount to child

abduction.

What if the parent wants instead to live

abroad?

In the case of an ‘external relocation’ i.e. out

of the jurisdiction of England and Wales,

that parent would need to get the consent

of all others with Parental Responsibility or

the leave of the court, in order to move the

child abroad. If the other parent opposes the

move, an application would need to be made

to the court for the court to make a decision.

What if the parent is not leaving the

jurisdiction but wants to move to another

part of England and Wales, e.g. to relocate

from Birmingham to Cornwall say?

In the case of an ‘internal relocation’ i.e.

within the jurisdiction of England and Wales,

that parent does not automatically have to

get the leave of the court for the move, even

if the other parent opposes it. If, however,

the move would result in a disputed change

to an existing child arrangements order,

such that the parent moving would be in

breach of the order for the other parent to

spend time with the child, the moving

parent would need to apply to court to vary

the existing order. Generally, where there is a

dispute about an ‘internal relocation’, either

the relocating parent will seek a ‘specific

issue’ order specifying they can relocate or

the opposing parent will apply for a

‘prohibited steps’ order prohibiting the move.

Inevitably a tension will arise between the

right of one parent to choose where to live

and the other who may face a disruption to

their relationship with their child consequent

on the move.

What does the court say?

A recent court decision in the Court of Appeal

reviewed the principles to be considered. The

court decided that the decision hinges

ultimately on the welfare of the child -

whether for an internal or external

relocation. The wishes, feelings and interests

of parents and the impact of the court’s

decision on each of them will be considered

but only in the context of evaluating and

determining the welfare of the child. Each

case will be determined on its own merits –

in that particular case internal relocation

was allowed.

If you need advice in relation to any

dispute regarding the arrangements for

children please contact Sally Leaman who is

partner at Gorvins solicitors. Sally holds

clinics twice a month at Guardians House to

provide initial free advice on family law. If

more convenient she can be contacted by

phone on 0161 930 5114 or by email to

sally.leaman@gorvins.com

Sally Leaman,

Partner and

Head of Family Law

Watching out

for YOU…

…whilst YOU watch out for others

With 20+ years’ experience working with the police, Gorvins Solicitors,

have been a leading provider of legal services to the Police Federation

and all its members. Whilst you protect your community our aim is to

protect you on any legal issues you may be experiencing.

Contact your dedicated force

representative Sally Leaman today on

0845 6347 999

e-mail police-divorce@gorvins.com

or visit us at www.gorvins.com/

police-divorce/west-midlandspolice-federation

Cost effective: Fixed fees and

discounted rates for officers, police

personnel and families

Expert team: Specialists in police

pension treatment on divorce and

dissolution

Prompt service: First appointment

free and no matter is too small

Other Family Services

Wills, trusts and probate

Employment law

Residential conveyancing

Personal injury claims

(on or off duty)

Dispute resolution matters

www.westmidspolfed.com

federation August/September 2016 33


DID YOU KNOW…


MOBILE PHONEGADGET COVER


















ALL FOR

£24.01*

PER MONTH

(INCLUDING IPT)

Visit the Federation website for further details:

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Or call us on: 0121 700 1200

WANT TO ADD A PARTNER? Call us for more information

Mobile phones/Gadgets must be less than 36 months old at commenecement of cover, with valid proof of purchase.

Full cover details including exclusions and limitations can be found in the policy wordings which are available from

the Federation office or George Burrows

* Premium price correct 22/06/16. Premiums are subject to periodic review and may vary.

West Midlands Police Federation is an Appointed Representative of Heath Lambert Limited.

George Burrows is a trading name of Heath Lambert Limited, which is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: The Walbrook Building, 25 Walbrook,

London EC4N 8AW. Registered in England and Wales. Company Number: 1199129. Part of

Arthur J. Gallagher.

34 federation August/September 2016

There’s no substitute for experience

www.westmidspolfed.com


Outstanding offers available on

Brand New Vauxhall for West

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0up to

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federation August/September 2016 35


www.citroen.co.uk/fleet

NEW CITROËN C4 CACTUS

STAY CURIOUS

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AS LOW AS 82G/KM CO 2 BIK FROM 12% UP TO 91.1 MPG* £0 ROAD TAX ∆

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New Citroën C4 Cactus is packed with new thinking and fresh style. Explore its cutting edge design, simple

sophistication, contempory comfort and efficient performance. By being light on its feet, New Citroën C4

Cactus is nimble, responsive and with up to 91.1mpg, uses little fuel. It means it’s inherently gentler on tyres,

brakes and suspension parts too, saving you money as the miles pass. It’s also designed to make your life

simple by placing all the important in-car functions at your fingertips via its 7 inch Touch Drive interface.

For more information and to arrange a 3-day test drive exclusively for

Police Federation members, please contact Steve Rice at Citroën

Coventry on 07771 955468 or email stephen.rice@citroen.com

CRÉATIVE TECHNOLOGIE

Official Government fuel consumption figures (Range): Urban cycle, Extra urban, Combined (litres per 100km/mpg) & CO 2 emissions (g/km); Highest: New Citroën C4 Cactus PureTech

110 S&S manual, 5.8/48.7, 4.0/70.6, 4.7/60.1, 107. Lowest: New Citroën C4 Cactus BlueHDi 100 manual with 15 inch wheels 3.5/80.7, 3.0/94.2, 3.1/91.1, 82. MPG figures are

achieved under official EU test conditions, intended as a guide for comparative purposes only, and may not reflect actual on-the-road driving conditions. *MPG figures based on combined

cycles. ∆ First year only. Please ask us for details. Subject to stock availability. Model shown: New Citroën C4 Cactus PureTech 82 manual Flair with optional white roof bars and white mirrors.

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