20 December 2019
Police officers have been battered and bruised and cannot tolerate any more broken promises, the national chair of the Police Federation has said in a warning to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
John Apter has congratulated Mr Johnson on his success but also urged him to act on his pre-election pledges, in a move welcomed by Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton.
“I have written to Prime Minister Johnson to congratulate him and his party on their win but also to remind him of the promises he made about policing before and during the election campaign,” said John, “And, while I want to continue the positive relationships we have been building with him and his ministers since the departure of Theresa May, I want to stress that we are not here to be their friends.
“My job is to work to ensure the very best for my members. I want a constructive and productive relationship and for the promises that have been made to us and our members to be more than just warm words.
“It is about more than just police numbers. In order to really revive policing, the service needs sustained, centrally-funded investment from the Government. It’s also about ensuring my colleagues are supported by Government and are paid fairly. And I will do all that I can to ensure that this happens.”
When Mr Johnson took over from Theresa May, he announced plans to recruit 20,000 police officers nationwide in a three-year programme with Derbyshire being allocated 85 of the first wave of 6,000 to be taken on.
This was shortly followed by an announcement on central funding to allow a further roll-out of Taser.
The Government had also pledged to introduce a Police Covenant to improve support for officers, backed a change in legislation to give police drivers better protection in the law and said it would allow Specials to join the Police Federation.
Then at the Federation’s centenary celebrations in London, Home Secretary Priti Patel said she would double the maximum sentences for those who assault police officers and other emergency service workers to two years.
“We have been hearing all the right noises,” says Tony, “A boost to officer numbers, more protective equipment, changes to the law to back the unique role we play in society and, above all, recognition that police officers put their lives on their line to serve their communities.
“But we cannot allow the Government’s pre-election promises to fall by the wayside. We now need to see the PM and the Home Secretary deliver for the sake of police officers but also for the police service and the public.”