90 days from today is Sun, 24 November 2019
7 January 2019
Happy New Year and welcome to our new website!
This has been a period of change, not only within Avon and Somerset Constabulary, but also within the Federation. 2018 started with the implementation of the Normington Recommendations, which brought new structure and elections to the Federation locally and nationally. It was during this process that I became the Avon and Somerset Police Federation Chair.
As your new Chair I am keen to work with the Constabulary and our partners to increase the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of you as Federation members. Policing has changed hugely over the past couple of years, as have our communities and society in general. We are facing new challenges and in parts dangers every day with significant increases in violent crime and assaults on officers. As we now enter 2019, we are looking at nearly a 50% increase in assaults against you. That is unacceptable and we must do more to prevent this.
I am keen for the Federation to work with the Constabulary and understand why we have this increase. I accept that we are now recording more incidents in a better way, but we need to know why more officers are being assaulted and what we can do to prevent these attacks. As I have stated in the press, an attack on an officer is an attack on society. We cannot tolerate this. We also need to work closer with the judicial system, increasing our positive outcomes thus bringing closure to the officers who are assaulted. Through the Force Health and Wellbeing Boards and Health and Safety Programmes we need to be intrusive of the organisation. We will strive to get the information to understand why there is an increase and work with the Constabulary to consider how we can prevent the assaults and injuries to officers.
Lobbying our MPs
Nationally we will continue to support the Protect The Protectors agenda and also the canvassing of our local Members of Parliament (MPs). Brexit has brought certain pressures and has allowed the ministerial eye to be taken away from policing. I think this is accepted and as such I will bring this back to their lens. I have written to all our MPs as a consequence and I am now meeting many over this next period. These meetings bring the reality of policing to their offices. The reduction in budgets, the increase in demand and violence, the proposed changes in pay, recruitment and the problem of staff retention. The only question I ask of them is around demand and considering our increases in other sector work, we now have to know, “what is it you don’t want us to do?”, because at the moment we can’t do it all! Policing is on a tipping point and we are in need of re-direction and most importantly a significant increase in funding. The warning signs are there.
Your new website
And last but not least, I would like to introduce you to your new website, which will allow you access to your Federation. It will provide you with a self-serve style reference guide and access to your Fed Reps. This is new, so feel free to explore and by all means contact us to provide your feedback so that we can understand your needs and move forward in providing our services to you.
I’m planning to give you an update every few months or so, so please check back here soon for my latest message, and you can keep up to date with our latest news.
Your Chair, Andy Roebuck