Police Federation

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A message from the National Chair as officers are criticised for being “over-zealous”

31 March 2020

National Chair John Apter

National Chair John Apter

This week we have seen a number of negative articles about police officers who are at the forefront of trying to protect the public by preventing the spread of this deadly virus.

Policing often attracts negative reactions, it’s the nature of what we do, but some of the comments have been unhelpful and factually incorrect. It’s important to put some of this negativity into perspective.

There have been hundreds, if not thousands of encounters between the police and the public since new powers came into effect last week, yet only a handful of these have been highlighted in the press, with ‘Easter egg-gate’ nothing to do with police anyway.

Police officers are working around the clock, doing their utmost to keep the public safe - but are now being vilified for trying to do the right thing in extraordinary times. This is completely unacceptable and grossly unfair.

Police officers who, behind the uniform, are mums and dads, sons and daughters, are bearing the brunt of some commentators who are happy to throw insults from behind their keyboard but not offer any constructive support.

In these challenging times, we may not always get it right, but we are only human, and this situation is not easy to manage, but we are doing our best. Officers are being asked to do things they have never done before and are re-adjusting to huge changes introduced just a few short days ago.

Our style of policing is important to us all, we police by consent. During these difficult times I ask the public to give us their support and to work with us. I ask those who seek to criticise, often without all of the facts, to pause and to imagine for one moment walking in our shoes. It’s not as easy as you may think!

If we all work together, we can get through this, we can save lives and support our NHS.

All I ask is that the public gives us their support in this time of crisis.

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