Police dig in against new police watchdog choice

By politics.co.uk staff

Police chiefs are united with rank-and-file officers in fighting the home secretary's choice of Tom Winsor as the next chief inspector of policing.

Outgoing inspector Denis O'Connor's retirement this summer has opened up the opportunity for Mr Winsor, whose review of police pay and conditions has made him an intensely controversial figure.

Outrage from the Police Federation, which had questioned the independence of Mr Winsor's review, will be translated into political pressure when Mr Winsor appears before the Commons' home affairs committee next week.

His proposals had united both senior and junior elements of the police force. Bonuses for chief constables and superintendents were recommended to be scrapped, while a new minimum retirement age of 60 was to be imposed – ending the existing 30-year retirement rule which has allowed some officers to move on to well-paid second careers.

More junior officers are also affected. Mr Winsor has suggested implementing a two-year pay freeze, ending overtime pay for backroom staff working at the weekend and cutting the starting salary for police constables by £4,500.

Opposition to his appointment is rallying around the fact he would be the first chief inspector from a non-policing background. Mr Winsor is a former rail regulator.

Policing minister Nick Herbert said two of Britain's five policing inspectors had not worked in the police before taking up their roles, however.