9 June 2021
This is failure by Government that will never be forgotten... So many officers are having to wait for offers of spare vaccines and this is unacceptable.”
Paul Williams, Chairman of Cumbria Police Federation, reacts to the keynote speeches at Day 1 of the Police Federation of England and Wales Virtual Conference.
Paul said: “PFEW National Chairman John Apter made some strong and relevant statements around vast and current issues in policing. Open disappointment was expressed on behalf of all of the members - and I noted the quote ‘Warm words became lame actions’.
“This feeling was reinforced by mentioning current public order events including G7. We have a huge amount of Police from all over the country attending one force area which will no doubt come with risk of dealing with violent protest. A huge amount of officers have not yet been vaccinated.
“I echo John Apter’s words that this is a ‘failure by Government that will never be forgotten’. So many officers are having to wait for offers of spare vaccines and this is unacceptable when they are expected to be so up close and personal with the public and to be subject to increasing assaults.
“Police in Cumbria have been fortunate and worked well with the NHS to get many of our officers vaccinated but the issue here is the lack of Government support and a statement that there is still progress to be made to increase confidence in Government support.
“The huge increase in Police assaults was mentioned along with continuing appropriate pressure to increase sentencing and sentencing guidelines. We need this work to continue as the increase in assaults on our members cannot continue and become an accepted culture.
“I was pleased to hear John Apter touch strongly on one of the most important issues in policing to date ‘Pay’.
“He made it very clear the reality of effectively having an 18% pay cut over the last decade and very little has been done to rectify this. I noted and agreed John’s comments on this issue ‘falling on deaf ears’.
“Unfortunately, this seemed to fall on deaf ears as it was completely sideswiped in the Home Secretary’s response. It’s disappointing and feels like clear avoidance. It fills me with very little confidence that our members will see any real fast time difference in their pay despite policing becoming more complex, more difficult and more risky.
“Home Secretary Priti Patel was very complementary to the policing and the professionalism they have shown during the pandemic. She indicated support, made statements around extensive funding piled into policing and uplift.
“The support promised by this Government should be reinforced by paying us to reflect the job that we do.”