. Arming the Police
The Association is against the routine arming of police officers. Arming all officers would damage the traditional image of the British Police Service which is held in such high esteem the world over, primarily because of the difficult and dangerous job officers undertake unarmed. Police use of firearms is maintained at the highest possible level with first class training and equipment for a limited number of highly skilled professionals. Any proposals to alter the current situation would dilute the service offered to the public.
The Association believes that repeat offenders, particularly those already on bail, undermine public confidence in the judicial system. Therefore the constraints of current legislation should be reviewed to allow for greater flexibility in this area.
. BCU Families
The Association believes that comparison between like BCUs can be useful in raising the overall level of performance and also in highlighting instances of good performance against specific targets.
We support a regime where the most similar are placed in groupings for comparison purposes and the variables and process used to select BCU's for such groupings are relevant, transparent and easily understood.
BCU Commanders are already setting formal mechanisms to facilitate the exchange of information and best practice.
. BCU Inspections
The Superintendents' Association supports the rationale behind BCU inspections carried out by Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary as a means of raising standards of policing in England & Wales.
However, we also appreciate the need for all factors affecting BCU performance to be taken into account in a balanced way during the BCU inspection.
We agree with, and support, the HMIC position of discussing the final report with the BCU commander prior to, and without the involvement of, any ACPO representation.
The Association believes that every member of staff is entitled to be treated with dignity at work and should not be subjected to any form of bullying or other inappropriate behaviour.
. Capital Punishment
This Association does not support Capital Punishment. However, it recognises that in many circumstances there will be a need to protect the public from dangerous and violent criminals. We also believe in mandatory sentences and in some circumstances it means that a "life" sentence should be regarded as imprisonment for the remainder of that offender's life.
. Children and vulnerable witnesses
The Association welcomes Government proposals to 'balance the criminal justice system' and recognises the importance of having the rights of the victims and witnesses (particularly children) at the heart of the judicial process. The Association remains committed to ensuring that vulnerable or intimidated witnesses, including children, receive professional and sympathetic support from the Service. The rights and expectations of children and the vulnerable are of paramount importance.
. Command Resilience
The Superintendents' Association believes that in order to deliver the various expectations placed upon its members, a sufficient number of Superintendent posts is required within the Service. The quality of Superintendents' work is affected by the volume of demands made upon them. This can also affect their health, welfare and work-life balance.
The Association's Command Resilience Group monitors all factors in this area in order to influence and advise decision-makers for the benefit of the Service.
. Contract Guarding
The Association strongly supports the work of the Security Industry Authority to regulate and licence the private security business. The Association is conscious of the opportunity for criminal activity to be conducted under the guise of private security enterprises. We also have concerns about standards of recruitment and training for such posts and will work with the SIA in support of its objectives.
. Deaths of members of the public during or following police contact
Deaths of members of the public during or following police contact
We fully recognise and support the need for a thorough investigation into deaths in these categories.
. Deployment levels
The Association believes that public safety is the highest of priorities and their needs must always be taken into account in the wider context of operational deployments.
Safety of all staff is equally important and as managers we owe them a duty of care. Operational commanders need to take that fully into account when deciding how to make the best use of resources. A risk assessment should be undertaken before any deployment is made where possible as policing is by its very nature unpredictable and many operational decisions need to be taken at short notice.
. Devolved accountability
The Superintendents' Association supports the concept of devolved accountability for performance to BCU commanders and Heads of Force Departments. We also appreciate the need for all factors affecting performance to be taken into account in a balanced way.
However, the Association does not support the notion of BCU independence. We believe that BCUs need to exist in a strategic framework, such as a Force structure. The Association is not seeking to alter this position.
The Association supports procedures, codes and practices which deliver effective discipline within the Police Service.
It will continue to contribute to the review of the system and the delivery of emerging provisions.
The Association is committed to the operation of policies which attract, retain and support a diverse workforce both within the Police Service for England and Wales and its own employment. We will work to encourage the promotion of diversity issues both within the Superintendents' Association and in the delivery of our service to the public.
. Double Jeopardy
The Association believes that with the assumption that a fair trial can follow, it is right for a person to face the threat of a second trial where substantial and significant new evidence comes to light.
. Drug Testing of Police Personnel
The Association welcomes the introduction of drug testing for staff with cause and for high risk roles, but believes that there continues to be a need for this to be extended to random testing of all personnel, both sworn and unsworn, to preserve public confidence in the Police Service and ensure the safety of staff and the public.
This Association believes that all drugs have the potential to harm. The situation requires a balanced approach involving education, enforcement and the health system.
. Employment Mix (sworn and unsworn posts)
The Association believes that a modern and effective Police Service requires a balance of skills and abilities from sworn and unsworn staff. In deciding how posts should be designated, consideration should be given to the overall demands of the organisation, the Disability Discrimination Act and staff who will require posts because of illness or injury.
. Equality and Equal Opportunities
The Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all its members and employees irrespective of gender, family status, age, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religion, disabled status, or any other unjustified condition; and to the promotion of equality of opportunity for all throughout the Police Service of England and Wales.
. Escort duties
The Association believes the escorting of prisoners to court and HMP can be effectively undertaken by the use of appropriate private contractors.
. Force Structure
The current force structure in England & Wales does not deliver a consistency in policing across the country. Some Forces do not have the capacity to cope with extraordinary policing events or a concentrated series of serious policing incidents. This structure is an inhibitor to change and improved performance and needs to be reformed as a matter of urgency. This Association favours a national policing model delivered on a regional basis.
The Association does not support a compulsory register nor does it support open access by the public to any register.
. Health and Safety
The Association expects members to fully comply with all Health and Safety legislation. The Association takes very seriously the Health and Safety obligations of its members in order to comply fully with the legislation.
The Association will continue to support training for Superintendents to act as Health and Safety representatives looking after the interests of colleagues in their Branches.
. Human Rights
The Association supports the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights and believes that everyone is entitled to the rights set out in the Human Rights Act, 1998.
. Identity cards
The Superintendents' Association supports the National Identity Card proposals. An effective identity card system should ideally be rolled out for all citizens nationally.
Piecemeal implementation is not favoured although the practical and cost constraints are recognised.
. Jury trials
This Association believes in the right of trial by jury. However, this right should be limited by the type and seriousness of the trial. We believe that juries should be allowed to review all the evidence available and be allowed to assess the value of such evidence placed before them.
. Mandatory sentences
Mandatory sentences should only be used where it is absolutely necessary in the public interest. Judges should have the right to recommend the minimum and maximum term of imprisonment and whether parole should be made available within a specified time. In many circumstances the need to protect the public from dangerous and violent criminals means that a "life" sentence should be regarded as imprisonment for the remainder of that offender's life.
See also Capital Punishment
. PACE Authorisation of Chief Inspectors
The Association believes that authorisation of Chief Inspectors under Section 107 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 is intended to provide PACE cover during the temporary absence of Superintendents. The Association opposes general authorisations of Chief Inspectors, believing that this is outside the spirit of the legislation.
The Association fully supports the concept of policing in partnership in recognition that crime and disorder reduction is not solely a police issue.
This is a statutory requirement under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and the Association also encourages members to expand these partnerships even further to include more informal partnerships on a community or single issue basis.
. Part-time working
The Association supports part-time working for all staff, sworn and unsworn. It is essential that we understand the issues surrounding the health, welfare and work-life balance of all staff and how attention to these contributes to the effectiveness of the Service as a whole.
. Performance Measures
The Association recognises the need for performance measures. However, such measures should be relevant to core performance, easily understood by the police and the public, easy to collect, causing the minimum of bureaucracy and with the minimum use of front line operational officers in collecting the data.
. Police Community Support Officers
The Superintendents' Association support the effective and sustainable delivery of police patrol through working together with the wider police family.
The implementation of Safer Neighbourhoods policing on a national basis, together with the proposed growth to 24,000 Community Support Officers by 2008 is welcomed . It is recognised that Building Safer Communities is now dependant upon a well balanced policing mix with adequate resources.
The issue of powers and their possible future development will be subject to ongoing consultation.
. Protective equipment
The Association supports the provision of protective equipment for officers and civilians who may be involved in confrontational duties. We believe the provision of such equipment is also mandated by Article 2 of the Human Rights Act and by Health and Safety legislation.
We recommend that such equipment must be properly tested and trialled for its practicality in use in patrol duties before its introduction.
We believe too that, if practical, the design of any protective equipment should not be too militaristic in appearance which may alienate the public we serve.
. Public order
The Association recognises that the maintenance of public order is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of the police. We also believe the term 'public order' encompasses a wide range of complex and different scenarios and there is no single policing solution or strategy. Each situation needs to be considered on its own merits.
See also training and protective equipment
The Association believes police drivers should be ambassadors of road safety and expected to drive in a manner which equates with their skill and the level of training achieved. To that end pursuits should only be undertaken by officers who have received the commensurate level of training and been authorised by their force for that purpose.
. Reform (of the Police Service)
Reform, or modernisation, of the Police Service is necessary and should be a dynamic and continuous process. Any changes must be designed to improve the performance of the Service and to enhance the quality of the service provided to the public. The Association should be at the heart of the consultative process.
When change is contemplated in any force, Association members should advise chief officers of the Home Office recommendation to undertake meaningful consultation with all interested parties, so that all the people, IT, budgetary and other implications may be addressed prior to implementation.
At government level, no change to legislation, regulation or guidance which creates additional functions, tasks or responsibilities for the Police Service should be imposed without consultation, nor without proper funding provision to support the additional demands on the Service.
. Rest Days
Superintendents are entitled to eight rest days a month by virtue of Police Regulations. These days should be free of any on-call or duty commitments to enable Superintendents complete freedom to enjoy their statutory time off. This Association does not support any erosion of that statutory time off by inferring that on-call at home is the same as a rest day and any force arrangements that seek such erosion should be resisted.
. Roads Policing
In relation to Roads Policing, it has been the position of the Association that this has been an area of business that has seen a draining away of resources towards other areas of policing. This arguably has arisen because of the emphasis placed on measurable areas of crime and public reassurance activity.
The Association believes that roads policing is a core policing activity that properly resourced, managed and intelligence led embraces and tackles criminality, public reassurance, community safety and casualty reduction.
In particular, the strategic road network, with the exception of the collaborative Central Motorway Unit which operates in the Midlands, is policed by individual police forces, and this allows each force to commit resources as they feel appropriate. As a consequence there are significant stretches of our motorway network which are not routinely policed. This is not something that is lost on the general motoring public and therefore it could be safe to assume the criminal community. Motorways together with the motorway services sites are a key strategic arterial network that should have the benefit of rigorous, routine and high visibility policing. This would reassure the law abiding public and those who work on the motorway network, and seek to disrupt criminality , tackle anti social driving and provide a visible counter terrorism profile.
All sentences must be seen to be fair and apposite under the circumstances. Where appropriate, victims should be considered when sentences are handed down and those passing sentences should do so with the needs of reducing crime and disorder at the forefront of their mind.
. Sex Offenders Register
The Association supports the continued use of the Sex Offenders register to protect the public from offenders. The Association does not support the view that the regsiter should be open to public scrutiny on the basis that such action may encourage inappropriate harassment of those on the register and discourage registration.
. Special Constabulary
The Association recognises and appreciates the invaluable assistance rendered by the Special Constabulary to all police forces. It believes they should be a supplement to, and not a substiute for, regular officers, and that their activities need to be properly targeted and linked to local/force priorities to maximise effectiveness.
. Speed Cameras
The Association welcomes the proposed expansion of Speed Cameras recognising the intention to impact on the levels of death and serious injury directly attributable to excess speeds through positively influencing driver behaviour.
Tagging and other alternatives to custodial sentences offer a valuable alternative but must be seen to be a safe and viable option for non-violent criminals as part of an improved parole system or non-custodial community sentencing process. Public reassurance is vital and a thorough and transparent assessment of its operational effectiveness must be made and publicised.
. The Independent Police Complaints Commission
The Association supports the need for independent investigation of complaints.
We subscribe to the requirement for a system which is self sufficient and comprises a separately resourced body to carry out the function.
We continue to work closely with the IPCC as it matures and we engage with them in all matters within the relevant portfolios. We consult with, and are consulted by, them in those arenas and our relationship with the IPCC is professional, robust and healthy.
We endeavour to ensure that it remains so.
The Association believes that all officers should receive appropriate training to equip them for their rank and role, ideally before they take up position. Individuals have a personal responsibility for their own continuing professional development.
. Unnecessary Bureaucracy in the Police Service
The Superintendents' Association supports the reduction of bureaucracy in the Police Service. The present level of bureaucracy is over-burdensome and wasteful of police resources. The Association believes that any increase in the bureaucratic workload of the Police Service must be avoided. We therefore urge the Government to assess very carefully each new piece of legislation, regulation and statutory instrument as regards its effect on police bureaucracy.
This Association believes there is no room for vigilantism or any circumstances where the public or an individual take the law into their own hands. This is of course quite different and distinct from the public assisting the police or using their powers in law to prevent an offence or detain an offender.
The Association recognises the reassurance provided to the public by uniformed police patrols interacting with the community. We believe all officers should wear uniform save those whose duties genuinely make the wearing of plain clothes necessary. Such decisions, and consideration of measures to improve police visibility, are ones which our members should constantly address.
The role of wardens in our communities is welcome. Providing approrpiate training has been given, they can be a positive influence. All such schemes should be inspected, evaluated and conform to rigorous standards.
. Workforce Modernisation
The workforce modernisation project is aimed at allowing forces to review their working practices, re-model their workforce and business processes in order to release efficiencies. Pilots undertaken over the last two years have provided some evidence that re-engineered processes and differing workforce configurations can produce more effective ways of working than established methods.
It will involve;
. Building teams of individuals with complementary skills
. Making better use of highly trained officers and specialists on activities requiring their advanced skills
. Redesigning processes to take advantage of the mixed team approach
. Aligning HR policies and frameworks to support the improved methods
In order to fully realise the benefits of this approach demonstration sites will be run from November onwards in a structured manner. The national team will support forces with a set-up programme and field officers will visit to assist the local teams as the sites go live.
The Home Secretary has authorised some flexibility from the constraints of the crime fighting fund for those forces involved in the demonstration site process.
. Work-life balance
The Association believes that, in order to ensure an appropriate work-life balance, members should not derogate their rights under the Working Time Regulations, 1998 and should ensure that the relevant provisions are complied with.