Call for Unity
National Chairman Steve Williams called on the Police Federation to pull together and stand united so that it could best represent its membership in his welcome address at the start of the main conference on Tuesday afternoon.
He said: “We are nothing when we are not united. I really believe our strength is in our unity.”
But he admitted that sometimes unpopular decisions had to be made for the greater benefit of the membership.
The day had started with the separate rank meetings of the constables, sergeants and inspecting ranks in the morning and while the afternoon’s main conference, which had the theme 20:20 Vision Policing the future together, got underway with a montage of images and Press coverage showing some of the key policing issues over the past year including the Olympics, the PCC elections and the launch of the independent review of the Police Federation.
The Chairman, Steve Williams from NWP began by saying he was proud to be a police officer, proud to be Welsh and proud to be chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales.
“I will represent our members and our organisation to the very best of my ability,” he vowed, adding that the Federation needed to take stock of where it was and where it wanted to be, looking at itself critically, honestly and without prejudice. His role, he explained, was to lead the Federation through a time of change.
He paid tribute to the nine officers who had died while on duty in the last year, including the three who had been murdered – Ian Dibell in Essex and Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes in Greater Manchester.
After a poignant film tribute showing images of each officer, the audience gave a spontaneous standing ovation and they reacted in the same way to a tribute to the former Federation Chairman, Paul McKeever, who tragically died just two weeks off retiring.
There was then the usual one minute’s silence for all 10 officers.
Other sessions during the day included a question time panel featuring both police minister Damian Green and his Labour counterpart David Hanson alongside Irene Curtis, President of the Superintendents’ Association, and Sir Hugh Orde of ACPO.
There was an address from Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, who said reforms to the police service should be rooted in a positive vision of policing for the future.
Ian Rennie, General Secretary, also gave a speech about the national ballot on industrial rights while the day ended with an entertaining session by the renowned motivational speaker Nigel Risner.