Home Secretary praises ‘brave police’ at Federation’s Centenary
21 November 2019
Home Secretary Priti Patel
The Home Secretary paid tribute to the “bravery, commitment and sacrifices” of police officers as she addressed a Police Federation centenary event in London today.
Priti Patel said meeting rank and file officers had been the most “humbling” aspect of her three months in post to date, adding “I’m hugely honoured that my job is to help you do yours.”
And she joked that attending the gathering at Central Hall Westminster – the venue of the first Federation conference in November 1919 – had provided a welcome distraction.
Ms Patel told the audience of around 700 police officers, staff and dignitaries how her parents, on arriving in the UK, had run a shop and been exposed to theft and abuse. “I will never forget the support shown back then to my family by the police,” she said, adding: “I’ve got your back”.
The Police Federation’s Centenary is a “remarkable achievement”, the Home Secretary declared, while praising the good working relationship between the organisation and the Home Office. She continued: “It is, of course, completely right that [PFEW National Chair John Apter] has been holding myself and the Government to account on our commitments.”
She also touched on the 30,000 assaults against officers in England and Wales – up 18 per cent. As many as one in four serving officers have been attacked, she said.
“Many of you will have been hurt. It takes extraordinary courage to keep running to the front line to face that threat, day in day out. But, for you, your sense of duty comes first. Policing is a job like no other.”