Delegates were warned, either accept and implement the 36 recommendations of Sir David Normington’s independent review or the Government will take steps to impose the reform when Home Secretary Theresa May gave her keynote speech to conference.
The Home Secretary paid tribute to fallen officers and those nominated for last year’s Police Bravery Awards but it was her comments about the need for reform of the Federation and policing itself that were most felt by officers.
On Tuesday police minister Damian Green refused to be drawn over whether the Government would impose reform if the Federation did not press ahead with implementing the changes put forward in the Normington report.
Ms May was more forthcoming.
“My message to you today is that the police must change and so must the Police Federation,” she said, explaining that the Federation needed to show the public that it wanted to change and that she would be watching progress this week.
“If you do not make significant progress towards implementing the Normington recommendations you must not be under the impression that the Government will let things remain as they are.”
The speech, which came after the keynote address from national chairman Steve Williams, was followed by questions from delegates.
Earlier in the days there was a session on Specials being allowed to join the Federation ahead of motion on the subject being considered on Friday and an interesting speech from Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty.