'Short prison sentence removal would be absurd'

John Apter responds to Justice Commitee report

Scrapping 12-month or less prison sentences would be absurd without investment in policing and probation services and could render the new assaults on emergency workers bill useless, says National Chair John Apter.

The Justice Committee has today released its full report addressing concerns over the growing prison population and reoffending.

It concurred with the Government’s view that ineffective prison sentences of less and six months should be removed whilst further suggesting this should be extended to include 12-month sentences.

National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales John Apter, said: “First and foremost, this is all driven by cost saving, it is not driven by the needs of the victim who must be at the heart of any decisions - to ignore them is to ignore justice. We talk about prison overcrowding and the pressure this adds to the prison system. The simple solution is to build more prisons. Sadly, it is clear that with the current Government that is not going to happen.

Knife crime

National Chair John Apter today attended Downing Street’s knife crime summit headed by the Prime Minister, but questions remain over the Government’s next move.

This afternoon over 100 experts, including Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, gathered to discuss how an improved multi-agency response could become part the solution to the knife crime epidemic which Home Secretary Sajid Javid described as a “disease rotting our society”.

PFEW Chair John Apter, said: “Today I spoke with Policing Minister Nick Hurd on behalf of all our members and reminded him of how much policing has been affected by his party’s austerity measure with almost 22,000 fewer officers than on the streets since 2010 leaving them struggling to meet the demands placed on them.

Justice Committee Report On Prison Population 2022



Commenting, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:


“This thorough report represents a welcome outbreak of cross party common sense about a complex problem. It should lay to rest once and for all the idea that governments can build their way out of the prisons crisis. And it rightly focuses on the need to implement ambitious policies rather than just announce more of them.

Disappointment over Home Office’s pay submission

National Chair John Apter has dismissed the late publication of the Home Office’s response to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) as ‘not worth waiting for’.

The Federation evidenced the need for three-year pay deal, comprising of a 5% uplift in police officer pay this year, in 2020/21 and again in 2021/22, as a start on the road to rectifying years of below-inflation pay awards.

However in its PRRB submission, which comes nearly a month after it was expected, the Home Office says it will only make £70 million available, which equates to a pay rise of just 1.3% if spent over a 12 month period - considerably less than the recent 2.7% increase awarded to MPs.

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Knife crime ASBOs will put vulnerable kids at risk

Home Office proposals to create knife crime prevention orders, which are due to be debated by MPs for the first time on Tuesday 26 March, could criminalise thousands of children who are themselves victims of slavery, trafficking or criminal exploitation.

A joint briefing by the Prison Reform Trust and the Standing Committee for Youth Justice, sent to MPs ahead of the House of Commons debate, warns that there are insufficient safeguards built into the proposed legislation to ensure that the full circumstances of the child are taken into account by the police applying for the orders and the court before an order is imposed.

As well as unnecessarily criminalising vulnerable children, this could lead to inappropriate restrictions being imposed which could place the child at increased risk of neglect or abuse.

Police Federation affected by further cyber attack

At approximately 2.45pm on 21 March 2019, the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) was subjected to a multi-pronged, sustained cyber attack.

This is separate to the first attack which happened on 9 March and as a result the advice website set up following the first incident has also been affected.

Early indications show that the attack was different from the first and has affected the wider Federation network, including the majority of local Federation Branch Boards.

There is no evidence as yet that data has been taken and the Federation is working with cyber-crime experts to establish full facts and stabilise the situation.


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Knife crime

The Government has received another stark reminder of the knife crime epidemic gripping the country as official statistics show the number of offensive weapon offences dealt with by the Criminal Justice System is at its highest for almost a decade.

Reacting to the figures, which were released today (14 March) by the Ministry of Justice, National Chair of the Police Federation John Apter said: “These statistic confirm what I, and my members, know to be true - that knife crime is increasing and is devastating our communities.

“They are also indicative of the hard work and dedication shown by police officers in tackling this issue and bringing those who do choose to carry weapons to justice despite there being almost 22,000 fewer of them than there were in 2010.

“And they send a strong message that those found in possession of knives will be dealt with seriously and robustly by the police, and the criminal justice system.”

Abusing Power When Out On The Streets Must End

Swasie Turner MBE is a former police officer who was seriously injured in the line of duty. A long-time wheelchair user, he has raised money for various charities by climbing and racing in his wheelchair, as well as event speaking. Here, the outspoken Swasie discusses the need to use one’s initiative... and what happens when toeing the line goes one step too far...

For my ‘maiden’ column for the Custodial Review magazine I would like to highlight the ongoing and unbelievable incidents that prevail via those egotists who continue to abuse their power out and about on our streets. Not only do our national newspapers furnish me with daily examples of absolute lunacy by some who are completely devoid of initiative, sympathy or even simple understanding, but I too continually witness such examples as I push my trusty 47lb front-castored NHS wheelchair (a ‘legacy’ of my front line police service) out and about each day. I can’t believe the behaviour of some of those who are given a uniform and told to ‘administer justice’ as they patrol the streets as various wardens, ie – traffic, dog, litter etc.