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The Three Welsh (Region 7) Representatives

The Police Federation of England and Wales is currently comprised of 8 regions with Wales being Region 7. Each region elects a representative from each of the 3 ranks boards (Constables, Sergeant and Inspectors {inc Chief Inspectors}) in order to represent the federated officers of Wales on the national stage at Leatherhead in Surrey. At our national conference in Bournemouth in May, 2014, an election took palce for the 3 Welsh Region representatives and, maybe for the first time, all are from South Wales Police.

They are as follows:

Zac Mader Calum Macleod Richie Jones

Zac Mader
Constables' Central Committee

Calum Macleod
Sergeants' Central Committee

Richie Jones
Inspectors' Central Committee

In order for you to get an understanding of who your reps are and their general views on some of the issues we face, the regional representatives have been asked to address a couple of questions. This is an informal Q&A and is not intended to be binding or definitive.

Question 1

Can you please supply your name, rank and collar number?

Zac Mader, Constable 301.

Calum Macleod, Police Sergeant, 1504.

Richie Jones, Detective Inspector 318.

Question 2

How long have you been a police officer?

Zac Mader: I have been a serving police officer for 15 years.

Calum Macleod: 20 years.

Richie Jones: 25½ years.

Question 3

What roles have you held within the service over the past 10 years?

Zac Mader: I have worked all of my service in Cardiff, working in Ely, Cathays, Rumney and the Bay. I have been a response officer, a tutor constable and a hub officer.

Calum Macleod: Response PC, Neighbourhood Sergeant and Response Sergeant (promoted around seven years ago).

Richie Jones: Detective Sergeant (BCU CID), Sector Inspector, JBB Secretary and Detective Inspector (Intelligence).

Question 4

How long have you been a Federation representative?

Zac Mader: I have been a Fed rep for 10 years.

Calum Macleod: My fourth year.

Richie Jones: 14 years.

Question 5

What roles have you held within the Federation during this period?

Zac Mader: I have held a number of positions within the Fed. These include being secretary of the Constables’ Branch Board and vice chair of the Joint Branch Board. I took a very active role in discipline, UPP issues, equality and welfare issues.

Calum Macleod: Currently equality leader for South Wales Police Federation and chair of the Sergeants’ Branch Board.

Richie Jones: DS Rep, JBB chair five years, JBB Secretary (two and a half years), IBB secretary/chair one year.

Question 6

What is your current role within the Police Federation (ie your regional rep role)?

Zac Mader: I was duly elected as a regional representative for constables in Wales in 2011.

Calum Macleod: I will be taking up national representative for sergeants Region 7 (Wales). I have now also been elected as national general secretary of the sergeants.

Richie Jones: Inspector/chief inspector rep – Region 7 (Wales).

Question 7

Why did you become a Federation Representative?

Zac Mader: I have always had a sense of right and wrong. After a number of personal experiences with fairness at work issues and seeing a number of colleagues being dealt with unfairly in the workplace, I put myself forward to become a Federation representative as police officers deserve the best representation. I have always been able to stand up and be counted, sometimes to my detriment.

Calum Macleod: I witnessed first-hand negative aspects of the organisation and have seen seen the effect that this had on officers, I felt that the level of representation offered could have been better and decided that enough was enough. I swore that those who were vulnerable and in crisis would have a strong and coherent voice if I was elected. Thankfully, I was.

Richie Jones: I was press ganged by a colleague who was already on the Federation, it wasn’t something I’d previously considered but I don’t regret the decision to take up the role.

Question 8

Why did you become a regional Federation representative?

Zac Mader: I took the opportunity to become a regional Federation representative for constables in Wales so they could be better represented at the national platform. I will continue to give the sometimes unpalatable message to the local and national committee and promote the voice of officers in Wales. I pride myself on being a representative of the four constables’ boards of Wales knowing that I liaise with them and represent their views so that I truly act on their behalf on the national committee.

Calum Macleod: In order to ensure that the views of police officers in Wales are properly represented on a national level.

Richie Jones: I’ve been first reserve to the post for the past five years, I was very surprised that Steve Williams decided to retire unexpectedly but the opportunity to be involved in the re-structuring of the PFEW was too good to miss. I strongly believe PFEW needs to change nationally and locally so I see this as a great opportunity for the Federation.

Question 9

You represent every Federated officer of your rank in Wales. How do you propose liaising with those officers or their representatives in order to ensure efficient representation on the national stage?

Zac Mader: Over the past three years I have worked tirelessly to maintain and encourage good dialogue and communication with the four forces of Wales. I was pivotal in arranging meaningful regional constables’ meeting in Wales and the sharing of good practice. I worked a number of night shifts in each force area which was extremely informative, I saw first-hand the number of different issues in each force. My challenge is to look at different modes of communication and representation for my colleagues in Wales.

Calum Macleod: Communication with local representatives and officers throughout the region is key to this role, I have to ensure that I remain in constant dialogue with those that keep our streets safe. I have to ensure that I know the issues affecting these officers and that I am in touch with the views of all officers that the Federation represent. These views will be properly represented with one voice moving forward. I will be seen around region, around stations and build relationships in person from the ground up.

Richie Jones: Through my previous executive positions I have made invaluable contacts with my colleagues in the other three Welsh forces, I see this as an opportunity to build on those foundations and ensure I represent the Region and not just SWP.

Question 10

South Wales Police now supplies all of the three regional representatives for Wales. Will that weaken your ability to offer full and effective representation to the various regions and forces of Wales or strengthen your resolve as you may be more team-orientated?

Zac Mader: It’s a great honour that I and my colleagues of SWP have been elected by all forces in Wales to serve on their behalf. There are no boundaries in Wales and there is a real opportunity for all three ranks to work in a more joined up and strategic manner. My focus will be on an all Wales approach. I will continue to highlight the issues that really matter to officers in Wales.

Calum Macleod: I feel that this is a perfect opportunity for Wales to have a coherent voice across the region. It is important that we remember that we represent the whole of Wales. However, it is vitally important that we actually do represent these views. Actions speak louder than words. I think there is a benefit to having the three representatives from South Wales: firstly we all know each other, we all have worked together on matters in the past and we can have open and frank discussions. The whole region will be offered the best possible service by us, its representatives, and I can ensure you that we will all be working as a team without agenda and moving regional matters forward together for the benefit of all.

Richie Jones: Absolutely not! I was integral with my colleagues in Gwent and DPP in negotiating for officers in respect of a number of collaborative working groups. My links with the other three forces are strong and with effective engagement I believe I will represent all fairly to the highest standards.

Question 11

The national Federation has been heavily criticised over recent years for its poor communication strategy, secretive processes and lack of accountability. How will you challenge those perceptions?

Zac Mader: In the last three years I have challenged the lack of internal communication to our most important audience who are the members we represent. I believe that there is now an opportunity for the national Federation to be more representative and focused on what matters to officers. For too long I believe the Federation has been apologetic about representing police officers.

Calum Macleod: Communication is key, transparency is key as is being open and honest throughout. A large part of my reasoning in standing for election to this role was due to the concerns that we have all shared over recent times. Being open and honest is central to providing a service that all Federated ranks can be proud of. You may not always like what is being said but if it is honest, frank and all parties are willing to discuss then surely that is better…?

Richie Jones: As SWPF JBB secretary I created the post of communications manager and also introduced Federation Focus. Communication is about sharing information in an understandable format and also effectively listening to the concerns of members. Knowledge is power but it is also the most effective way to represent and often manage expectation.

Question 12

The Police Federation of England and Wales is undergoing the most extreme period of change in its entire history. As a member of the interim National Board, how do you intend to influence that change and what improvements would you like to see to the service provision for our members?

Zac Mader: I intend to influence the change programme by listening and acting on the views that really matter to my members in Wales. I will influence the Interim body on the potential changes to policing in Wales.

Calum Macleod: We all have an opportunity moving forward together to ensure that we have a Police Federation that we can all be proud of. We enter a process at our national conference where we will vote on a number of recommendations that will shape the service we provide in future. That service has to be fit for purpose. My main desire looking ahead is that we all work together, we all have a voice and that voice is truly represented and communicated in a professional manner from a local to national level and vice versa.

Richie Jones: It is essential that the unique status of policing in Wales is understood, especially with the drive to devolving policing to the WAG. It is essential Wales has a voice and remains part of PFEW. To oppose regional pay and to ensure policing in Wales remains within the negotiating arena with England. Wales must have a loud voice in PFEW and any future structure.

Question 13

Do you believe that the PFEW should be recognised as a trade union as opposed to a staff association? Give reasons.

Zac Mader: Most politicians and media portray us as a trade union. We as a staff association don’t have the right to strike and as such have had compensatory measures in the form of the police negotiating board (PNB) where the Federation has had the ability to negotiate and influence on pay and conditions. Sadly, the decision has been taken by the Home Secretary to abolish PNB from later in the year. We will submit evidence to pay review body where there is no ability to negotiate. Due to these facts I think that we need to look at this issue in the near future.

Calum Macleod: At this moment in time I feel that we should remain a staff association as we are offered some protection in legislation as a trade union. We are crown servants and not employees, however, if there is a step change from this in future we may have to consider the alternative carefully.

Richie Jones: My view is that we should remain as a staff association, it is imperative to safeguard the unique Office of Constable – it is this that sets us apart from employees. I recognise that our conditions are being eroded and it is the role of the INC to ensure we put a halt to this. It now essential to start getting back on to the front foot and demonstrating what the model of British policing brings to our society and as such should be rewarded and recognised appropriately.

Question 14

The Welsh Government has recently been discussing the devolution of policing powers to Wales. Do you support the devolution of policing? How would a Police Federation of Wales impact on our effectiveness as a staff association and the services we provide to our members?

Zac Mader: I believe policing could be devolved and if the political decision is taken, the Federation would be in a prime position to advise and influence. Whatever decision is taken it can’t be a detriment to police officers and must provide a better service to the public and have the appropriate level of funding. My view is that policing in Wales can’t keep slipping through the cracks between Westminster and the Welsh Assembly.

Calum Macleod: Devolution of policing to Wales has been discussed at a national level for some time now and is subject to a number of differing reports I am very much of an open mind in respect of devolving policing to Wales as there does seem to be a political appetite for this to happen in future. We have a huge opportunity as the Police Federation to influence this process, to engage and to shape the destiny for policing and the Police Federation in Wales while ensuring that our members have an outstanding service provided for them for decades to come.

Richie Jones: That is the six million dollar question! PFEW is already taking a lead in this matter by forming the Welsh Affairs Working Group, which consists of representatives from the four Welsh Forces and members of the JNCC. The group is considering all the potential impacts and is engaging with all the major stakeholders in Wales to ensure that we are ready for any implementation.

Question 15

Is there anything else that you’d like to say that would offer reassurance to the officers in Wales that their views will be fully represented in the future?

Zac Mader: It is an immense privilege to represent officers in Wales. We have faced the most challenging three years for officers with the persistent reform agenda, Winsor, pay freeze,policing cuts and pension reform. As an officer who is fully affected by the pension changes I am acutely aware of the anger, frustration and deep resentment that officers feel. I will continue to listen and fully represent the views of my members.

Richie Jones: This will be achieved by effective engagement with all officers at all Federated ranks. I have always believed that the Federation should be a rankless organisation and that is the way I intend to engage with the membership, while representing the Inspecting ranks it is essential that the views of all are taken in to account when dealing with the future of the service.