"Come forward and be part of the Federation"
Elections for new reps for the Metropolitan Police Federation will take place on 1 February 2018.
Around 300 positions will be up for election, and the Federation is particularly looking for more female and BME candidates to reflect the make-up of federated ranks across the Met.
Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh says the elections are a good opportunity to expand the work of the Federation, adding that reps have an invaluable opportunity to help their colleagues and learn new skills.
He explained: “What they get out of it is the opportunity to help others and sharing the experiences they have. Sometimes us older cops that have been through the discipline procedure themselves, or just purely because they feel that they have the ability to talent manage them in a different way that other officers do, or they just really have an insight into discipline, welfare.
“I started as a federation rep about 14 years ago as a workplace rep in Tottenham, St Ann’s Road, and you learn the bread and butter of the Federation, you learn the basics of discipline. Officers start coming to you and asking you questions about regulations, about all sorts of things that they get asked to do, and they need someone to champion it, they need someone to know something about it so they can feel that you’re influencing the position for them.”
Any officers who are interested in becoming Fed reps must nominate themselves and, when elected, they will complete an introductory training course at the Federation’s headquarters in Bromley. There are also advanced courses available in areas such as discipline, welfare, and health and safety.
The Federation is running a series of roadshows over the next few weeks for anyone interested in standing for election to meet Ken and other Fed reps to ask questions and find out more about what being a rep involves.
The first roadshow is on 7 December from 10am to 4pm at the Empress State Building in West Brompton. Further roadshows will be held on 12 December from 10am to 4pm in the Federation headquarters in Bromley, and on 20 December from 12pm to 4pm at New Scotland Yard.
Officers should be able to attend these events on duty time with permission from their supervisor. Entry is by warrant card.
Ken said the Federation plays a crucial role in supporting officers up to the rank of Chief Inspector in various areas including discipline, welfare and pensions.
He explained: “You’ve only got to look at the amount of officers that we’ve represented in discipline and welfare, and the amount of officers that we’ve assisted with misconduct forms, the amount of officers we’ve assisted in pension appeals, the amount of officers we’ve assisted in welfare issues, just about all the regulations and how they should be guided.
“It is absolutely numerous, the numbers, and quite rightly that’s what we’re there for. The first time normally an officer will have any interaction with the Federation is if they’re going to be disciplined or they have a welfare issue.
“We really want to be on the ball, we’ve got to be able to assist immediately, because that’s when they need the service, at 3am and the wheels have come off or there’s a major issue, we need to step in and assist them.
“Protect the Protectors is a massive thing that we’ve been involved in where we’ve take the legislation all the way. I sit on the Parliamentary working group and we’ve taken legislation all the way to the House of Commons.”
The Protect the Protectors Bill aims to protect emergency service workers by increasing the sentences of those convicted of assaulting them by making it an aggravated offence. It has passed the committee stage in the Houses of Parliament and could be law by Easter 2018.
The Met Federation also organised a JustGiving page for the family of PC Keith Palmer, who was killed in the Westminster terrorist attack.
Ken added: “The public were amazing. This is what we should do when we lose a colleague in that way, and I’m very proud of the people who came forward and have picked it up. Keith’s wife, Michelle, she’s forever grateful for the actions that we took and how we supported them. But that’s what we should be doing, that’s what the Federation is about, that’s why we’re there.
“My final message to all my colleagues is obviously stay safe out there, and remember the Federation are there to support you. We will assist in any way we can, just come through to us, and hopefully I’ll be seeing a lot of officers who are willing to step up.
“We need about 300 fed reps, so we need a lot of our colleagues now to embrace Federation, come forward and be part of it.”