Police vote for right to strike

The Police Federation says officers have voted to seek the right to take industrial action.

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Police Federation abandons plan to seek right to strike

The Police Federation has ruled out trying to end a ban on their right to strike after a ballot of members failed to produce enough backing for the change:

  • The Police Federation of England and Wales represents more than 133,000 officers
  • It balloted members to ask if they wanted to seek strike powers amid anger at the government's plans to cut jobs and freeze pay
  • British police officers last went on strike in 1919 in a dispute over pay and have been barred from taking any industrial action since the 1990s

Majority of officers 'do not want the right to strike'

I am pleased the vast majority of police officers do not want the right to strike - their work is too important.

Our police have done a fantastic job to cut crime by 10% over the first two years of this Government, despite having to play their role in cutting the country's record deficit.

The Federation has a key role to play in driving our reforms on improving professionalism and leadership across all ranks and I look forward to working closely with them in the future.

– Damian Green, Policing and Criminal Justice Minister


Industrial action a 'last resort' for police

A significant proportion of our membership has indicated that they want the right to take industrial action. This highlights the pressures currently felt by rank and file officers.

However, it would not be appropriate to undertake a course of action that could potentially change the employment status of more than 133,000 police officers if fewer than half of those officers have voted for us to do so.

Our members value their unique employment status as servants of the crown (the Office of Constable), and I believe the vast majority of them would view industrial action as a last resort.

– Steve Williams, Police Federation
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