Should police be allowed to strike?

December 12, 2007

policetape-martinbennett1.jpgPolice Officers are meeting in London on Wednesday to consider what action, if any, they should take over their pay dispute with the government.

Last week Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said police would be given a 2.5 percent rise, as recommended by an independent arbitration panel, but this would not be backdated to September as expected. She said this was necessary to keep a lid on public spending.

The decision has infuriated police who say it means the rise is only worth 1.9 percent, lower than the rate of inflation.

The Police Federation, the body that represents rank and file officers, says the government is taking advantage of laws which make it illegal for the police to go on strike. It is now considering what industrial action it can and should take.

Should police be allowed to strike? Should Jacqui Smith reverse her decision? Or is she right to stick to government targets?

Let us know what you think


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The publics security should come first before any strike you cannot use strike action to hold governments to ranson. They will only use the army to do the work.
Rolling pay deals should be done, stop tying the police hands make them productive agianst real crime, drugs, guns, vice and organised crime.

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

Emergency Services and the Police should not have the right to strike, if the Army was to threaten strike action the soldiers would be charged with sedition, the same should be the case with any public service where public safety and security would be threatened if they were to take strike action.

Posted by Christopher Houghton | Report as abusive

Since 1919 police have been barred from taking industrial action. In our modern era of ‘human rights’ should the police go to the European court of human rights they would win. Jacqui Smith will have destroyed a unique style of policing for 30 million (about a quarter of what MP’s claim as expenses.

Posted by Paul Mitchell | Report as abusive

The miners’ strike of 1984 – 1985 was a major industrial action affecting the British coal industry. It was a defining moment in British industrial relations, and significantly weakened the British trades union movement.

Coal was a nationalised industry and, as in most of Europe, was heavily subsidised. A number of mines in the United Kingdom were profitable and remained open after the strike, including some operating as of 2007[1], but there were also a number of mines that were unprofitable and the government wanted to close. In addition, many mines required efficiency improvements in order to attain or increase their profitability, which was to be done by means of increased mechanisation. Many unions resisted this as it would necessarily result in job losses.

The strike became a symbolic struggle, since the miners’ union was one of the strongest in the country. The strike ended with the defeat of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) by the Conservative government, which then proceeded to consolidate its free market programme. The political power of the NUM was broken permanently, and some years later the Labour Party moved away from its traditional socialist agenda. The dispute exposed deep divisions in British society and caused considerable bitterness, especially in Northern England and in South Wales where several mining communities were destroyed. Ten deaths resulted from events around the strike, which is exceptional in the history of British industrial relations.

Posted by Bakkachower | Report as abusive

Smith should be forced to resign. The police have had a deal for the last 30 years giving then a small pay rise. For one I would not do their job there is no thanks and they work all the hours for very little money. The everyday average person supports the police let common sense prevail and give them the pay rise they deserve. The government has gone back on their word yet again.

Posted by paul | Report as abusive