â€˜I want us to push for policing’ says new national Fed chair

Steve Hartshorn says he’s looking forward to working with Gwent Police Federation to make members’ voices heard on the issues they face.

Steve was voted the new chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) following a vote among the membership nationwide and took up his post on 1 April.

He said: “With this role comes the responsibility of standing up for our members and, working alongside the organisation’s National Board and National Council, I want us to push for policing.

“It is my genuine belief that collectively we can make our voices heard to secure a better deal for policing on pay.”

He added: “I’m really looking forward to working with our colleagues in England and Wales. My priority is to continue to build on the important steps we’ve taken in pushing for improved pay for police officers, as well as improving all their working terms and conditions of service.”

Gwent branch chair Steve Thorpe said big challenges were ahead that the Federation needed to work together to solve.

“Morale among officers is low, many feel poorly treated, and many feel they’re not paid enough for their roles – and that’s before the cost of living crisis really begins to bite,” said Steve.

“These are among the pressing issues the new chair has to face but we face them together. He has our full support and we look forward to working with him for the good of our members.” 

Steve joined the Met in 1995 before moving to the Force’s Firearms Command. The Federation’s firearms lead and National Board member, became a Fed rep because he wanted to help colleagues going through a tough time.

He said: “As the new National chair, I’ll continue to apply whatever pressure is necessary on the Government. Historically, governments have recognised the restrictions placed on police officers and were committed to ensuring they would suffer no detriment in terms of pay and conditions.

“Sadly, that no longer appears to be the case.  That deal has been reneged on, but there is an opportunity now to put that right.

“My door is open to the Government to have these vital discussions, and to have a relationship where there is mutual respect. I want open and honest dialogue where we can ask the difficult questions that our members need to hear the answers to.

“Most importantly, I want to achieve tangible and positive results for police officers in England and Wales.”

In July 2021, the Federation withdrew from the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) after recommendations were again disregarded by the Government seeing officers with no pay rise despite their efforts during the pandemic and the challenges they faced.

Last month, it launched an application for Judicial Review alongside the Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association (CPOSA) and the Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA) seeking an independent police pay review mechanism.

The national chair said: “Our members have suffered a 20 per cent real-terms cut in their pay since 2010 and this will increase further with costs of living increasing substantially. 

“The current pay mechanism is not fit for purpose so we will continue to fight on behalf of police officers in England and Wales. We need independent pay machinery, and we need Government to honour in full the recommendations of the pay review body.”