Once again Mr Tom Winsor (not ‘Sir’ as cited below in the petition) has enraged both serving and retired police officers by wearing a ‘police uniform’ this time to the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph. For those who don’t know, Tom Winsor is not, and has never been, a police officer. He is a lawyer and economic regulatory professional who was the Rail Regulator and International Rail Regulator for Great Britain from 5 July 1999 until 4 July 2004. He is, or was, a partner in international law firm White & Case LLP. On 1 October 2010, he was appointed by UK Home Secretary Theresa May MP to carry out a wide-ranging review of the remuneration and conditions of service of police officers and staff in England & Wales, the first for over 30 years. In October 2012 he was appointed as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary. He is the first holder of that role to come from a non-policing background.
When he wore the uniform in September of this year to the National Police Memorial Day Service in Cardiff a petition was raised on the 10 Downing Street website saying:
“Sir Tom Windsor (sic) should NOT wear any ceremonial Police uniform”
Over 10,000 people have signed it so the relevant government department was required to send a response and this is it:
“The post of HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMCIC) is a Crown appointment made on the recommendation of the Home Secretary and with the approval of the Prime Minister. There is a ceremonial uniform that is associated with the appointment. This is not a police uniform. It is for the HMCIC to decide the public engagements at which he wears the uniform.”
If more than 100,000 people sign it then it will be debated by a Backbench Committee. I’m not personally convinced that will do much good but if like me you believe he really shouldn’t be wearing a police uniform (ceremonial or otherwise) please sign the petition at https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55362 and if enough of us sign it we will find out what effect a debate by a Backbench Committee has.