Mar 4 2013
A ballot of police officers for the right to take industrial action failed to reach a high enough majority even though thousands voted in favour.
The Police Federation said a ballot of its 133,000 members showed 45,651 in favour and 10,681 against - a majority of 81%.
However, only 42% of the federation's members took part in the ballot - not enough to seek a mandate under its rules.
Policing and Criminal Justice Minister Damian Green said: "I am pleased the vast majority of police officers do not want the right to strike - their work is too important."
Federation vice-chairman Steve White told the Press Association that the Government could not ignore the fact that thousands of dedicated police officers felt they were "not being listened to".
Federation officials said 20% cuts to policing, combined with "attacks" on pensions, pay and conditions, have resulted in a period of "unprecedented discontent and low morale" among police officers.
Relations worsened after a report by former rail regulator Tom Winsor recommended that police forces should face changes to pay, conditions and recruitment.
Mr White said police officers were having their pay cut following a wage freeze, and were paying more into their pensions that any other public sector employee. "We know there are a lot of very angry officers out there. Hopefully this will be the start of a more constructive relationship with the Government."
Mr Green added: "Our police have done a fantastic job to cut crime by 10% over the first two years of this Government, despite having to play their role in cutting the country's record deficit. The Federation has a key role to play in driving our reforms on improving professionalism and leadership across all ranks and I look forward to working closely with them in the future."
Steve Williams, chairman of the federation, said: "A significant proportion of our membership has indicated that they want the right to take industrial action. This highlights the pressures currently felt by rank and file officers throughout England and Wales. However, it would not be appropriate to undertake a course of action that could potentially change the employment status of more than 133,000 police officers if fewer than half of those officers have voted for us to do so."