#JusticeForAndrew rumbles on today! We will provide an update later on as to how much you’ve raised for him. From the bottom of our hearts though, thank you.

#JusticeForAndrew rumbles on today! We will provide an update later on as to how much you’ve raised for him. From the bottom of our hearts though, thank you.

To donate, make a one off payment (as a donation) to [email protected]

We’ll publish what we’ve received later today. :)

Ms May

Ms May
My name is Ben, I am 24 and I am a police officer in the Metropolitan Police Service.
I wanted to write to you to explain what you are doing to police officers’ lives, because it must be that if you knew what you were doing to normal hard working people with your reforms you would reconsider your attack on the police service.
I apologise for the length of my letter but I wish for just a short amount of your time.
I am a probationer constable at the time of writing. This means that I have not yet been in the job for more than two years. Despite this, I have had my pension conditions changed twice. Twice from the conditions I signed for on my first day in training in the agreement I would receive this pension after 30 years serving in the office of constable.
Having your pension changed so often in such a short amount of time hardly seems fair. Particularly when I compare it to other people in the public sector
The one I signed for wasn’t the “gold plated” pension you’ve made it out to be in the media. However, it was good enough for someone like me, who was willing to give 30 years of their life serving the public and willingly put themselves in harms way to fight crime, retiring at 53 with nothing more to give.
With my current conditions, realistically, the earliest age I will be retiring is 60. This will more than likely be even higher by the time I reach the end of my service.
Policing is a young person’s game. My day to day duties usually require being on foot patrol for up to 9 hours carrying half my body weight in equipment and a protective vest. I have to run after criminals and detain them.
They nearly always fight back.
On occasions I have to climb into locked premises to look for burglars or to help someone who has fallen inside their house. This again, carrying all my equipment. I have to work long shifts, usually a minimum of 10 hours, with working obligatory overtime 2-3 times a week due to arrests or extended tours of duty for other necessary reasons.
Don’t misunderstand me, I love my job and the things I’ve mentioned are part of it and I enjoy them. Like i said though, policing is a young person’s game. I don’t know if I’ll be able to jump over walls and fight with drug dealers when I’m 50, let alone 60. This is what you’re going to make happen if you continue down the path of changing police officers’ length of service, and conditions. A large proportion of the service will be too old to do the job effectively.
This scares me because it will put the public at risk and allow criminals to win. Two things that I hope me and you can agree we do not want to happen.
I despair at the thought of being too old to do my job properly.
The other point about the changes you have made to my pension is that contributions have gone up. I now pay nearly 15% of my monthly salary towards my pension. Something replicated in barely any other public sector pension scheme. I am now taking less net pay home than I did at the start of my career, despite having had 1 years service pay rise plus a 1% pay rise. Many of my colleagues are in the same position. I can not understand that if you were aware of this situation you would allow it to happen
Cuts. I am fully aware that this country needed to tighten the purse strings. I understand that, I am not a fool.
I am also aware that some of these cuts would have to come from the public services such as the police service. What I don’t understand however is why there is no end in sight for the cuts to police.
George Osborne stated in his budget that there would be no more cuts for the police.
I remember watching this announcement with my colleagues before the start of a shift. There was a sense of relief. We felt finally that the government had realised what good the police service do. We felt valued by the government on hearing that announcement. Something that I had never felt in my career and what the older officers had not felt for many years.
We thought the end was in sight, that we had done our bit in the cuts and now it was someone else’s turn.
Of course, we were wrong. I have recently learned that the governments “direct funding” to the police will fall by £131 million despite the chancellor bragging “We’re going to protect the police”. As I understand it police chiefs will be told to raise their council tax contribution to make up for this short fall. This hardly seems like you’ve protected the police at all. I appreciate you do not set the budget but you are a senior member of cabinet who has some say in how budgets are set. Particularly around policing
It is times like this when police officers despair. Could we be blamed for the growing belief that you and your government hold the police with such contempt? All we see in the media is negative press about the police, we are demonised at every turn.
In your speeches, which I often try to watch with an open mind, you again seem hell bent on focusing on making the police out to be money grabbing and corrupt. You use events like the Hillsborough disaster and the death of Steven Lawrence as ammunition to show the police service as inept and not fit for purpose. In reality however, many of the police officers serving today were either not involved in those events or were not police officers at all at the time. A growing majority of police officers were not even born when they took place. So why should they be used by you to justify your harsh reforms on the police?
I am just a person doing my job to the best of my ability. I hate that the home secretary, a role in government that has always existed to support the police and equip us with the tools we need to do our job effectively, is working against us.
As stated earlier, I am a probationer constable. A time when I should be excited about my new career willing to learn and see what path I take. Confident about what the future holds.
Sadly, I often don’t feel like this. At times I have considered leaving the job because of what you and other members of the cabinet are doing with the reforms. At times I have asked myself why I pull myself out of bed in the morning to put on a stab vest and serve the public when the government seems to revel in our mistakes and does not show any sign that they wish to support us. A probationer, new to the job, should not feel like this
I can not explain how low morale is at work. I have seen it first hand. More officers are going sick from work with stress related illnesses than ever before and a recent survey amongst police officers has stated that morale is at an all time low.
Your cuts have consequences.
I now have to wait longer for back up than I did two years ago. London boroughs are asking for assistance from neighbouring boroughs with 999 calls. This was a rare situation when I first joined but in just two years of cuts I hear this request over the radio 10 times a night, there is simply not enough units to cover all the calls. Speaking to my friends who serve in the counties, where the officer numbers are traditionally much lower, the situation seems even worse.
At some point the good will of police officers that you are stretching, will eventually snap and we will no longer be able to make the service work. This is not a threat, this is my and many other officers’ belief. Our worry is what have you got planned for when this does happen?
Like many police officers across the country all I want to do is my job properly and effectively. I want a pension that reflects what I do for a living and the risks I take. I want to be valued by the government and for this value to be shown by stopping the incessant attacks on our conditions.
We are not racist, incompetent or money grabbing.
We are normal, hard working people trying to do a difficult job with one hand tied behind our back
So please Ms May, we are wits end. We can not give any more. The service is at breaking point.
Stop your reforms. It is somebody else’s turn
Regards
A Police Officer