THE chairman of the organisation representing rank and file police officers in Hampshire has welcomed the outcome of an independent review into its practices nationally.

John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, said some of the review made “difficult reading” but added it was a “great opportunity” to grow the federation.

The report, which was put together by RSA Action and Research Centre, was commissioned following concerns about the police after the “plebgate” affair.

Among the criticisms the review revealed “worrying loss of confidence and competence” and poor treatment of staff who are members of the federation.

The panel made 36 recommendations to improve the authority, including scrapping separate rank committees, installing a new director of equality and reserved seats for minority groups, and the publishing of all accounts and expenses to meet national expenses guidelines.

Mr Apter said: “As somebody who is passionate about what the federation can do for its members some of the report makes difficult reading.

“However, this is a great opportunity for real positive change to take place which will see the police federation grow stronger and become more effective in the years to come.”