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100 years of supporting our service

President Paul Griffiths speaks on the work and importance of the staff associations as the Police Federation of England and Wales prepares to mark its centenary:

This week it is the centenary celebration of the Police Federation. This important event will mark a huge milestone in the history of the Federation that has supported thousands of police officers, making a real difference to the people that dedicate their lives to policing. 

Having spent 16 years working within the federated ranks, I have personally benefitted from the advice, information and support the Federation offered, and this played a real part in my desire to take an active role in the Superintendents’ Association.  

The role of our staff associations should not be underestimated.  Policing is a vocation.  A profession that people enter as a life decision, not a job move.  It is unique, rewarding and incredible, but it comes with challenges, processes and ways of working that are not shared with many other professions.  We are not employees and have completely different rights to other workers, so having the support and understanding of a representative body can be invaluable.  I know I speak for all of my Association colleagues when I say that being part of this support network brings great pride – where caring for ‘our people’ is integral to both organisations.
 Over the years, the Federation and the Association have had a significant impact on major policy decisions and the direction of the Service. Working alongside one another – sometimes with different opinions, and sometimes with a shared voice – we seek to influence for the good of our members, the Service and ultimately the Public.  This has resulted in positive results in areas including pay and reward, conditions of service, criminal justice legislation and government policy. We both care for ‘our police’ and draw on the huge evidence base of our memberships to work towards positive change.

Perhaps the most impactive work of the Federation, and that of the Association, is in the support we provide to officers in need.  Policing exposes individuals to trauma, intense scrutiny and to every kind of emotion, which inevitably takes its toll.  These people need support when the impact begins to have an effect and the Federation and the Superintendents’ Association provide the knowledge, understanding and support that can positively change lives.
It was a great pleasure to present Federation Chair, John Apter, with a token of our respect and a recognition of their centenary at our Conference this year. As representative bodies we don’t always agree on every issue affecting our members but our direction and our hopes for policing are aligned.  The Supers of tomorrow are cared for by the Federation today and together we form the policing family of which we are so proud.

To the Police Federation of England and Wales – Happy Centenary and long may your good work and support continue for the next 100 years!