In a week likely to be dominated by talk of how the Police Federation needs to change, the final session of the opening day of conference brought home to everyone present how truly effective the organisation can be when it gets it right.
The session was led by Chief Superintendent Nick Adderley, Territorial Commander in Greater Manchester Police’s North Manchester Division and the senior operational officer on duty when PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone were murdered in September 2012.
Chief Supt Adderley explained the horrors of the day and how he had switched on the police radio, when alerted something was happening, to hear: “Officers shot, get an ambulance, get an ambulance.”
But, as well as talking about operational events, he also discussed his own emotions around how the day would be forever etched in his memory.
Ch Supt Adderley paid tribute to the two officers and also introduced a film made in their memory and shown at Greater Manchester Police Federation’s open meeting.
He was also full of praise for the role of the Police Federation of England and Wales and particular the Greater Manchester Police Federation.
He concluded his speech: “I feel privileged that I work shoulder to shoulder with you people.”
Conference gave him a standing ovation.
- The main conference started at 2pm on Tuesday, following the morning’s separate rank conferences. Steve Williams, the outgoing national chairman, welcomed delegates and said the conference was one of the most important in the organisation’s history and would have a profound impact on how the organisation was structured and represented its members.
The first guest speaker was Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, who said the Government should share responsibility for the challenges facing the police service and outlined Labour’s own plans for improvements in policing
The afternoon also including a women’s reserve seat session called Valuing the Difference which included speakers who outlined the challenges faced by women officers.
As an unadvertised guest speaker, Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell gave an inspiring speech encouraging women to believe in themselves, plan for success and focus on their goals and targets.