Police Federation

Home Secretary must deliver on covenant pledge

1 October 2019

National Chair John Apter

National Chair John Apter

The Police Federation of England and Wales has cautiously welcomed Priti Patel’s support for a Police Covenant and harsher sentences for those who assault officers in her first speech as Home Secretary at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

Today (October 1) she announced a series of measures to better protect officers so in turn they can protect the public they serve and the establishment of a Police Covenant.

This comes with a pledge to give police officers the kit and tools they need to protect themselves and others from harm and to clamp down on violent crime.

John Apter, National Chair of the PFEW said: “I welcome the Home Secretary’s support for a Police Covenant and for harsher sentences for those who assault police officers. These are things that the Police Federation has been calling for so it’s good to see we have been heard.

“For the past 10 years policing has not been a priority for the Government and the previous Prime Minister demonstrated contempt for my colleagues. It is clear that policing is now back on the political agenda so we must now see the warm words turned into action.”

The Federation has been calling for a Police Covenant to enshrine the welfare of police officers in law and to receive priority NHS treatment. At the same time, it is in the process of enhancing its Welfare Support Programme (WSP) and currently exploring the possibility of delivering counselling services to members referred to the programme.

Last week (27 September) the Home Office also announced it is giving police forces £10 million in additional funding to significantly increase the number of officers carrying Taser.

Mr Apter continued: “The Home Secretary said that she, the Prime Minister and the Government stand firmly behind the police. As she reminded us, it is our police officers who run towards danger to keep the public safe. Policing is a dangerous and unpredictable profession, those who do it deserve the full support from their Government. They deserve to be paid fairly, have the best possible equipment and to have enough of them so they can safely police the streets.

He added: “I will play my part in helping the Government to turn their support into action. But the Prime Minister must be aware, that broken promises will not be forgiven.”

The Government is also investing £20million to help identify and dismantle county lines gangs by:

  • Expanding the National County Lines Coordination Centre
  • Setting up a new British Transport Unit comprising of 35 staff to disrupt the movement of drugs and vulnerable people
  • Creation of a Safer Streets Fund to invest in crime prevention measures including CCTV and street lighting
  • Using enhanced data analysis with ANPR to enable officers to proactively target vehicles

Mr Apter added: “We welcome the Government’s investment to tackle this growing issue which is blighting our communities.

“This additional funding will give law enforcement the capability it needs to provide better protection for the public and especially those vulnerable people within society, he concluded.

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