17 May 2021
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton has praised officers as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.
Tony paid tribute to members for the courageous ways in which they tackled the ever-changing Covid-19 rules and legislation over the last 15 months.
And he said officers should feel proud of their response to the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic.
He explained “The last year or so has been tough for police officers and their families. They have often faced criticism in the media and from others simply for carrying out their duties in what have been extremely challenging circumstances.
“I would urge them to remember they have had the support of the vast majority of the public even though it hasn’t necessarily always felt that way.”
The latest easing of restrictions means people in England can now meet outdoors in groups of up to 30, and indoors in groups of six or two households, with pubs and restaurants able to serve customers inside. Museums, cinemas and other indoor attractions can also reopen.
Tony said officers had stepped up to answer a list of unprecedented demands adapting to rapidly changing guidance which added an extra layer of complexity to an already challenging set of circumstances including high-profile public disorder.
And they have to deal with the added pressure while also tackling their own concerns over health, caring for their children and vulnerable family members and home schooling, Tony explained.
His comments came after John Apter, the Federation’s national chair, sent out a message to the public as lockdown restrictions started to ease.
In an open letter published in the Daily Express, John said: “This has been a very difficult time for many – losing loved ones, losing jobs, and having restrictions placed on us which would have been unimaginable before this pandemic.
“We have all done our best during these past 15 months and collectively our goal has been to save lives and stop the spread of this deadly virus. Police officers have been put in an incredibly difficult position, policing the ever-changing Covid-19 rules and legislation.
“Without your support and understanding, their job would have been impossible. You will have seen a style of policing which has been alien to you. This is also alien to my colleagues. We did not join policing to police in the way we’ve had to. But this has been necessary to protect each other and save lives.”
And in a special message of gratitude, he said: “To you, the public, that silent majority who I know support my colleagues, thank you.”