Theresa May has announced today that the Government will be withdrawing funding from the police federation. This is a great example for looking at the classification of Pressure Groups.
In 1989, Wyn Grant put forward a theory of Insider and Outsider pressure groups. Each of these classifications was then sub-divided – Core/prisoner insiders, specialist insiders and peripheral insiders, peripheral outsiders, outsiders by ideology and outsiders by necessity.
The Police Federation (essentially a trade union for police officers) are a good example of a core/prisoner insider – being funded by the government and being required to enforce the law as laid down by the government, there is no way it can operate as an outsider group. With Theresa May defunding it today (saying they have vast swathes of cash built up and that there must be reform to the Police Service) perhaps this will give the Police Federation a little more freedom…it is unlikely as they will still be required to enforce government-made law but a useful example nonetheless.
Traditionally, students struggle with the concept of a prisoner insider – all it really means is one who simply cannot act as an outsider due it’s required connections to the government of the day (it doesn’t matter which party is in government, the police force does not change when the government does!). The Police Federation is a great example of a prisoner insider group.