The Chairman of the Police Federation Steve Williams has said the damning review of the body by the RSA, which revealed in-fighting, political posturing and divisions over cash reserves, offers a "roadmap of reform" which must be embraced.
Responding to the publishing of the report, he said:
This is an historic day for our organisation. The report makes uncomfortable reading and identifies that deep cultural change is needed.
It shows that the organisation is currently failing to perform its role effectively and efficiently is ineffective and uninfluential, has lost the confidence of its members, and is in need of urgent reform.
– Steve Williams, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales
The review into the Police Federation has called for a new national board to be set up and led by an elected chairperson to end bitter division within the body and instigate the recommended reforms.
The RSA report said:
We have met leaders at all levels of the Federation who are up for the challenge and understand the urgent need for change.
We have also encountered some who are more interested in fighting internal battles and protecting their own positions.
If the Federation is to succeed to the future, the membership will need to demand an end to internal division and the pursuit of narrow self-interest and get behind those who are ready to lead a programme of fundamental reform.
The report also called for the existing rank committees to be abolished and subscriptions to be sent directly to the central federation rather than regional branches.
Chaired by Sir David Normington, the review found 68% of the membership felt fairly or very dissatisfied that the national leadership was adequately safeguarding their interests.
The body that represents the 127,000 police officers in England and Wales has been told to make "urgent" sweeping changes amid bitter internal rows over accounts and "political games" being played out to the detriment of its members.
The Police Federation received a damning review from the charity the RSA, which comes in the wake of the "Plebgate" scandal, with some of the membership being accused of pursuing "narrow self-interest" in their actions.
The review found the body was heavily divided into local factions, with 13 branches out of 43 refusing to provide details of profits placed in separate accounts.
The RSA raised questions over a cash surplus of nearly £65 million and called for subscription rates to be cut by 25% next year.
The Police Federation faces a "very significant programme of reform" in order to become "a trusted voice for frontline police officers", said a former high-ranking civil servant investigating the body.
Sir David Normington, a former Home Office permanent secretary, revealed "91% of federation members think there needs to be change" and said the body needed to "rebuild trust" after a number of police scandals.
The Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents tens of thousands of officers, has said that the recommendations from the Home Affairs Select Committee could lead to greater confusion:
We remain to be convinced that creating a new code of ethics would be any more effective than that which already exists and one that we believe already demands the highest standards of each and every police officer.
Further, there will be considerable cost in creating yet another discipline body within the College of Policing, along with forces themselves, the IPCC and the HMIC.
Financial concerns aside, this is also likely to lead to overlaps, gaps and confusion over decision making in relation to discipline matters.
Integrity in policing is paramount, but knee jerk reaction to historic cases and those involving an extremely small minority of the 134,000 officers who police this country with absolute commitment should not dictate future policy making.
– spokeswoman, Police Federation of England and Wales