Derbyshire Police Federation

Branch chair responds to speech by Home Secretary

10 November 2022

Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton has backed calls for a return to “good old-fashioned policing” in a bid to improve public confidence in the service.

Tony spoke out after Home Secretary Suella Braverman said members of the public wanted to see officers  “fighting crime, not debating gender on Twitter”.

Ms Braveman told a police chiefs’ conference in Westminster  she did not want officers to face “politically correct” distractions and they should focus on “common sense policing”.

In a speech to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) joint annual summit with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), she said: “The way to ensure public confidence in the police is to focus on getting the basics right.

“What I call ‘common sense policing’. The kind of policing the law-abiding majority deserves and expects.

“No politically correct distractions, just good old-fashioned policing - with a relentless focus on making our streets, homes and transport networks safer.”

Responding to her remarks, Tony said: “I think it is important that policing keeps up with changing times and attitudes but that should not prevent us from sticking with our core values.

“I think over the years policing has fallen into the trap of trying to be all things to all people and that has sometimes left us unable to respond to certain events in the way the public would expect us to.

“I am all for common sense policing and I would suggest that the vast majority of our members feel the same.”

But Tony said cutbacks, ongoing funding issues and a recruitment and retention crisis has had a massive impact on policing and needed to be addressed by the new Home Secretary.

“To put it bluntly, we need more officers, better resourcing and a well-paid, fully-motivated workforce if we want to deliver the kind of service the people of Derbyshire expect and deserve,” he said.

Ms Braverman also told the conference that the police service could rely on the full support of the Home Office.

She said: “I am on your side. I want us all to pull in the same direction. And I will do everything in my power to support you and to back you.”

She told the summit officers showed remarkable commitment to keeping the public safe in the face of danger and praised detectives for their extraordinary work which ensured criminals were put behind bars.

“I want to ensure that the amazing job you do is recognised in full, and we are committed, through the police covenant, to ensuring that this is done correctly,” she said.

“I am committed to supporting you in using your powers without fear or favour to keep our streets, and keep our people safe. Under my watch you have my full backing to use stop and search, which is a vital tool in the fight against crime.

“To those who try to undermine your use of stop and search, or question your legitimate use of investigatory powers, or the use of force which leads to the prevention of crime, I say this: our police are working to keep you safe. To keep your children safe. To save lives. Let them do their work.

“It is only right that you can stand firm against criminals, rather than listening to those who would denigrate your work or use data selectively to undermine your credibility.”

Read the speech in full.



March 2023