Blog: A Christmas message from our National Chair John Apter

18 December 2018

National Chair John Apter

Despite the challenges facing policing, officers across England and Wales have continued to deliver the very best service they can to the public.

This year has been a momentous one for the Federation. The reform programme that we started three years ago concluded with the election of reps, a new national Council and Board, and the first national Chair elected by the members, all keen to ensure your views are heard.

2018 has seen notable successes for the Federation. Our ‘Protect the Protectors’ campaign resulted in legislation change that will see harsher sentences given to those who attack police officers and other blue light workers. We continue to press for better legal protection for police drivers so that they can do their job knowing that the law is on their side, should they be involved in an incident during a high speed pursuit when protecting the public.

These big bits of work are important but I want to recognise the work that goes on at a local level, often unseen but just as important. Local Fed Reps across England and Wales are the backbone of the Police Federation and it’s their work which makes the lives of our members that little bit easier.

The year ahead will have many challenges, not least because of the political uncertainties that the country now finds itself in. Issues over adequate funding and resourcing of policing will remain, but be assured the Federation is fighting hard to see new money for policing in next year’s Comprehensive Spending Review. I will continue to challenge the decision makers on your behalf to make sure your voice is heard. I will never shy away from doing this.

Our Did you know? campaign has started well and it will be central to the Federation’s work in 2019 highlighting to you, our members, what you are entitled to claim under current police regulations.

What I am certain about is that policing will continue to step-up to the mark - it always has done in order to protect the communities in which we serve.

Policing doesn’t stop for Christmas. But when officers do have that chance for a break I would like them to reflect on the great work that they have accomplished this year. The lives saved, the people cared for, the advice given, safety maintained, the laws upheld and the criminals brought to justice. Our police officers are the very best there is - we must never be quiet about saying it.

And this is to my colleagues. If you are working over the festive period I hope you have a safe shift, please look after each other. For those lucky to have some time-off, enjoy it and make the most of your family time.

Being the National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales is an honour. To be your voice is a privilege and one I will never take for granted. I will continue to fight for you, I will be there for you.

Wishing you and your families a very happy Christmas. Please stay safe.