Cumbria Police Federation

One year on since lockdown: Officers in Cumbria should be proud of the vital role they’ve played in helping suppress the spread of COVID-19

23 March 2021

Officers in Cumbria should be proud of the vital role they’ve played in helping suppress the spread of COVID-19, Cumbria Police Federation has said.
Marking a year since the first COVID lockdown, Cumbria Police Federation Secretary Jamie McTear said: “Our officers in Cumbria and officers around the country should be immensely proud of the work they’ve done over the past 12 months and the challenges they’ve faced, with over 60 changes to laws and regulations, and having to deal with members of the public who have been caught out trying to bend the rules and breach the COVID restrictions.
“They’ve been on the frontline of helping suppress the spread of the virus. We’ve seen an increase in assaults, we’ve seen an increase in antisocial behaviour related to COVID, and I applaud the way officers have conducted themselves by using the four Es – engage, explain, encourage and enforce – to police this.
“Alongside that they’ve also had to continue with their day-to-day job. Just because we’ve had an unusual year, it hasn’t stopped incidents of domestic assault, murder and other core business take place around the country.”
Jamie said he backed the Police Federation of England and Wales’ calls for a ‘thank-you’ bonus for officers – which has been made to the Police Remuneration Review Body - especially since there has been a pay freeze announced for officers in 2021.
He said: “I think it’s only right and fitting that there is some financial recognition for the work that officers have done over the past 12 months. Going out there, 24/7, not knowing what they’re going to and whether they’re going to be unwittingly catching the virus, spreading it among their families, putting other people at risk and being put at risk themselves. I think it’s a small gesture that is within the regulations and it’s something that should be considered and something that the Government should do.”
Jamie continued: “There have been words from the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary throughout the past 12 months about the great work police officers have done and the value they bring. But I think the words are quite an empty sentiment, when you see the figures around the increase in assaults on police officers, and the talk of there not being a vaccine priority for certain key workers, including police officers.
“I think what with the pay freeze, the increase in assaults, the increase in legislative changes, and officers still going out and doing their jobs during COVID, it is time for the Government to put their money where their mouth is.”