Northamptonshire Police Federation

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The Police Federation represents all serving Police officers from Constable to Chief Inspector inclusive. It was set up in 1919 by an Act of Parliament following police strikes over abysmal rates of pay and conditions of service following the First World War. Since 1919 Police officers have been prohibited from striking by statute, the most recent being the Police Act 1964.

The Police Federation is not a union but is charged with representing its members in all matters affecting welfare and efficiency.

Police officers are not employees, and therefore, do not have full rights under employment laws but do have their Conditions of Service expressed in Police Regulations and Determinations which have legal standing.
Please click on this link to see 'Working for you' - What the Federation do for you.

National Structure

The Police Federation at a national level negotiates all aspects of pay, allowances, hours of duty, annual leave and pensions. The national body is consulted when Police Regulations are made concerning training, promotion and conduct. It takes an active interest in the wide range of subjects which affect the Police Service and puts forward its views on members behalf.

It not only acts as a Staff Association but also as a professional body able to have influence not only on living standards through pay and other benefits, but also on the development of professional standards.

Serving police officers control the Federation. It is not affiliated or associated with any bodies outside the Service and is independent of political parties. It does not have, or seek to have, the power to call a strike or to take any form of industrial action. Each of the 43 police forces in England and Wales has a Joint Branch Board (JBB) administered by a full-time elected Secretary who is also a serving police officer.

The country is divided into eight Police Federation Regions and each region elects representatives who form the Joint Central Committee (JCC). This structure provides an effective link between the officer, his or her force and the representative committee in order to deal with day-to-day problems and to improve the status of the police service and its members.

The headquarters of the Police Federation of England and Wales are at Leatherhead in Surrey where the elected officers and support staff are based. It is also the main meeting place for the JCC, the body appointed to administer the Federation and for the sub-committees. All are composed of elected serving police officers.

An annual central conference is also held to which all forces send representatives at Constable, Sergeant and Inspector levels. Such conferences provide an opportunity for discussion at national level on any problems which may exist at the time for the Federated ranks.

The Police Negotiating Board (PNB) is the body which negotiates the rates of pay, pensions and allowances for the Police Service of the United Kingdom. It consists of the official side and the staff side, which meet together with an independent Chairman appointed by the Prime Minister.

Membership of the official side is composed of representatives of the government ministers responsible for the police; the Home Secretary, the Scottish Secretary and the Northern Ireland Secretary and representatives of the local authorities and magistrates. The staff side consists of representatives of the Police Federations of England and Wales, Scotland and of Northern Ireland and of the Superintendents' Association and ACPO. The Police Federation is represented on the Police Advisory Board which meets under the chairmanship of the Home Secretary to discuss professional subjects such as training, promotion and discipline. The Home Secretary makes Police Regulations and Determinations after taking these discussions into account.

The Federation also takes part in a number of other committees and working parties and has representatives on the Police Training Council (PTC) and other international bodies.

The Federation is almost exclusively financed by voluntary contributions from the membership.

The main use of funds is to provide direct help for individual members. Part of the subscription is retained by JBBs to meet their own costs. The Federation employs a number of professional staff and retains the services of specialist advisors such as solicitors, economists, a parliamentary advisor and a member of the House of Lords, who is also a member of the European Parliament.


An officer is a member of the Police Federation from the day they join the Police Service until they leave, or are promoted to Superintendent. Although membership is automatic, financial contributions are voluntary, but well over 99% of police officers are contributors.


Free legal advice may be given to individuals on any matter arising from the conditions of service set out in the various Acts, Regulations and Determinations governing the police service.

At the discretion of the Federation, financial assistance may be given to individuals
  • to pursue civil claims for damages
  • to take civil action for injury caused on or off duty
  • to have assistance with Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) claims
  • to provide a medical opinion and/or legal support for an appeal for National Insurance or in police pension matters
  • to provide legal assistance, in certain circumstances, for those members accused of assault and traffic offences arising from the performance of police duties
  • to take civil proceedings in defamation
The Police Federation provides personal liability group insurance for all members who contribute to the Federation funds. In the event of the death of a serving contributor to the Federation funds, a death benefit is also payable to dependants. The Police Federation may represent a police officer at any misconduct proceedings or at an appeal from such proceedings. The Federation can advise and assist police officers who have been injured on duty and wish to claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

The locally appointed representatives act as Safety Inspectors under Health and Safety at Work legislation, Equality Advisors and negotiators in respect of local issues.

Local Level

At a local level serving officers elect representatives to serve on the following Boards
  • Constables' Branch Board (CBB)
  • Sergeants' Branch Board (SBB)
  • Inspectors'/Chief Inspectors' Branch Board (IBB)
There are nine elected representatives on each separate board plus a further representative at each rank (who must be a female officer) elected to represent the interests of all female officers of that rank within the force. Representatives are usually elected to represent officers working within a certain area or department. Each of the above Boards elects their own Chair and Secretary.

The Boards sit separately to discuss matters relating to their specific rank and also sit together and when doing so are referred to as the Joint Branch Board (JBB). The JBB elects a Secretary and Chair and these are full-time posts. The Secretary is the senior negotiator for the force and manages the JBB office. The JBB Chair is the local figurehead for officers working within Northamptonshire and is the lead press spokesperson. The Black and Asian Police Officers' Association are invited to send an observer to meetings of the JBB.

In addition to all the foregoing which relate generally to statutory matters, Northamptonshire Police Federation also provide services to its members relating to:
  • Group Insurance Schemes
  • Mortgage Surgeries
  • Matrimonial Surgeries
  • Will Writing Surgeries
  • Financial Surgeries
  • Health Care Schemes

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© 2018 Northamptonshire Police Federation