90 days from today is Thu, 19 September 2024

Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Christmas and New Year Message for Members from Mark Loker, Chair of Avon and Somerset Police Federation

22 December 2022

Christmas and New Year Message for Members from Mark Loker, Chair of Avon and Somerset Police Federation.

“There’s no better time than Christmas to reflect on the past year and remember all the fond memories of the people you’ve shared it with.

“After my first full year as your Chair I am thinking of you all this Christmas season and reflecting on what has been yet another unprecedented 12 months not only in Policing, but across the world.

“Reflection is always a good thing in Policing and we have to reflect on what didn’t go so well to seek new ways to work within the constraints that affect us all. Whether that is money restraints, time, relationships, lack of staff, suppressing and oppressive demand, it matters not the specificity of the restraint, what is important is that despite all the adversity heaped upon us we rise to every challenge and still seek to do the very best we can.

“There is often talk about a crisis in Policing and there is one. It’s easy to say and see as we look around and see minimum staffing levels as now being aspirational, we see assaults on Police Officers rising, increasing sickness days lost to trauma impact and stress, anxiety and depression. We see our public sector colleagues striking to make an impact on the crisis in their departments and lack of proper pay awards and who is left to pick up the pieces? We, the Police and do we get thanks? No. Do we get any dispensation? No. Do we get recognition for our efforts in supporting Government failures? No. Does that stop us? Never.

“We run towards the danger, no matter what the danger and we face it head on with resolve, professionalism and pride. We are the thin blue line, we are family and we will do this together.

But despite the negativity, please take away the positives, think about all the good that you do, the lives you saved, the victims you have helped and think about those families who relied upon you, needed you at their lowest time and you stepped up to save and support.

“As this winter of discontent plays out in front of us, we need to do all we can to step up, support and protect our own family, no matter the cost.

“I always say that blood is not thicker than water and we can choose our family and each of us chooses to Police, we all choose this family. We dedicate ourselves to a vocation knowing the detriment it will have on our actual families, our health and our wealth and that is amazing, you are all amazing. 

“Policing is the emergency service that keeps the public, our communities and the other emergency services safe, we are the custodians of our family.

“Throughout the year we are constantly the greatest gift ever to be given for that person who needs us in a crisis, in a critical moment and for that, despite all the adversity, despite all the negativity, you should be proud, I know I am. We are the gift that keeps on giving.

“Whether you are giving and/or receiving gifts this year please take the time to reflect and consider that even when things look bleak, when we look around at the love our families have for us and reflect on a terrible year of war, poverty, discord and discontent take this time to reflect on what you have and not on what you don’t. Look for the good, look for the gifts in front of you and consider for a moment that the greatest gift that can be given at Christmas is time spent together, love shared and time spent with your family.

“If you are working over the bank holidays, thank you. Thank you for your service and thank you for giving up one family to spend time with your other family.

“Please look after each other, stay safe and be and do the very best you can.”