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Friday, 23 November, 2001, 14:44 GMT
Police chief loses officers' confidence
Sir Edward Crew
Police leaders have no confidence in Sir Edward Crew
Police officers' leaders in the West Midlands have passed a vote of no confidence in their chief constable, Sir Edward Crew.

Leaders of the West Midlands Police Federation say he has failed to consult with them properly on a range of issues.

In a statement the federation said it is now looking for "meaningful" consultation to restore the broken relationship.

But the deputy chief constable of the force has hit back denying that there is loss of confidence in Sir Edward amongst officers.

Low Morale

An on-going rift between the chief and the professional body, which represents the 7,500 officers in the force, came to a head last week when Sir Edward refused to appear at a federation meeting.

The federation chairman, Inspector Joe Tildesley, said the difficulties between the federation and Sir Edward stretch back over five years.

The dispute centres on a low level of moral and a recruitment crisis which the federation claims is affecting the force.

A statement, released after a federation meeting on Thursday, said: "The West Midlands Police Federation Joint Branch Board has lost confidence in the chief constable and the police authority for the West Midlands to properly consult on issues that affect the health, welfare, efficiency and morale of the members of the force.

Insp Joe Tildesley
Inspector Tildesley: 'Public slap in the face'
"We look for some meaningful consultation in order to restore such confidence."

Insp Tildesley has said the force has the highest rate of resignation or transfers to other areas of any force in the country.

A total of 221 officers have resigned or left for other forces in the last 10 months - that is 3% of the force's officers, twice the rate of departures from the Metropolitan Police.

Last week the chief constable failed to make a scheduled appearance at a federation meeting - he told them he would not be attending because Insp Tildesley had spoken to the press before the event.

Charge denied

Insp Tildesley described the non-appearance as a "public slap in the face for the federation" and "yet another example of the appalling high-handed manner in which we have all been treated."

But the Deputy Chief Constable, Matthew Baggott, said: "The vote is not about a loss of confidence in the force and the leadership, it's talking about consultation," he said.

"I would challenge anybody to go to a comparable police force and find as many ways officers have access to management to air their grievances.

"Consultation is not about 'I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine' it's about running a police service to suit public concerns and public demands."

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See also:

11 Sep 01 | UK Politics
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