Warwick policeman's campaign taken to Parliament

Warwick-based police officer Ken Fowler's campaign for equality was put forward as a Commons motion in Parliament this week.

The sergeant's perseverance led to a Home Office review on the length of time officers have to serve before being able to receive a medal for long service.

The current period is 22 years, but because fire and ambulance service employees, as well as prison officers, are recognised after 20, Mr Fowler - who has himself been on the force for 22 years - would like to see a change.

On Monday, a motion - sponsored by Warwick and Leamington MP James Plaskitt - was announced in Parliament to support his campaign.

Mr Plaskitt is urging MPs from all parties to back the motion. He said: "Ken has already achieved a lot with his campaign and deserves credit.

"The initial wall of resistance has come down, and now I hope to recruit a significant number of MPs to the campaign. This will, I hope, sway the Home Office's review in favour of adopting 20 years as the appropriate point at which to recognise long service.

"The inconsistency between the emergency services in respect of recognising long service is hard to fathom. I think the Home Office has had to accept this. They have suggested a lengthy review but I can't see why it should be so difficult. Hopefully, an indication that Ken's campaign is backed by a wide number of MPs will help speed things along."

Mr Fowler - who has earned the support of 400 Warwickshire colleagues, as well as chief constables from across the country - has previously won another battle to gain equality for the emergency services.

It was announced in 2001 that a medal to commemorate the Queen's Golden Jubilee would be awarded to members of the armed forces who had served for five years on the jubilee date - February 6, 2002.

One year before this date, Mr Fowler started a campaign to get the Home Office to include police, ambulance and fire personnel to be recognised as well. After a police magazine highlighted the issue, the government announced that the emergency services would be awarded the medal.

Speaking to the Courier this week about his latest campaign, Mr Fowler said: "I just can't understand why senior police ranks haven't already queried the anomaly. After all, everyone I have pointed it out to has been in full agreement and so it's just strange that no one dared take up the issue before."