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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Police Covenant welcomed by PFEW

8 September 2020

The decision to enshrine a Police Covenant in law to enhance support and protection for the entire police family has been welcomed by the Police Federation of England and Wales. 

It follows a campaign by PFEW for a Covenant and will ensure the welfare of officers, police staff and their families is placed under regular Parliamentary scrutiny.   

This was preceded by a public consultation process, which found more than 90 per cent of respondents backed Government plans for a Covenant.  

John Apter, National Chair, Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “This Covenant will mean much more than words to serving or former police officers. It recognises the unique position they hold in society and the fact they very often put their lives on the line. 

“The benefits of this Police Covenant will be welcomed by the entire policing family. We would therefore like to thank the Home Secretary for her enthusiastic support and for turning PFEW’s campaign for a Covenant into a reality.” 

The Covenant applies to serving and former police personnel. It creates a statutory duty for forces to support police officers and places a requirement on the Home Secretary to report annually to Parliament. It will focus on protection, health and wellbeing, and support for families.

Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the publication of the consultation response in a virtual speech to the Police Superintendents’ Association, where she also outlined a commitment to stand firmly by the side of police.

She said: “The police and the families that stand behind them deserve special recognition. Their bravery and sacrifices are what keep us and our loved ones safe. I will put the Police Covenant in law to ensure they will always have the support of the nation.”

The Government proposals ensure the Covenant applies to all those working within or retired from policing roles, whether paid or as a volunteer. A new governance structure is planned to drive future activity on wellbeing and protection to fulfil the Covenant.