26 February 2020
Today the ball has finally started rolling on the long-awaited Police Covenant and it couldn’t come at a better time – a time where we see more and more of our colleagues injured from violent attacks, rising demand created by years of cuts and soaring crime rates. Officers are feeling pressure like never before.
Policing can be dangerous and unpredictable, and I know my colleagues like to keep their heads down and just get on the job they set out to do - but it’s essential that our officers, staff and volunteers know they have the full support of the society they protect and the Government if they need it.
The Covenant will rightly recognise our colleagues not as employees but rather hold the office of constable, this is recognition of the unique position they hold and high-level of professionalism and dedication they have, often putting their lives on the line. As we know many of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice. We also want our colleagues who have retired from policing, who so often feel forgotten, to be looked after.
So, what will the Police Covenant actually look like? We have an idea of what we want this to look like, we want a legal framework which will ensure our colleagues are given access to credible occupational and welfare support, access to priority NHS health care - a little like what is given to veterans and those in the military - but it hopefully will begin to take shape after we have submitted our ideas into the consultation process.
We have been calling for a Police Covenant for some time, now is the time to help turn it into reality! From ensuring officers have the very best equipment to them receiving the best welfare and wellbeing support, this is what the Covenant should help ensure is delivered. It’s also not just about the officers, it’s also about their families who are often the ones who have to pick up the pieces when they are going through a difficult time - or if something goes wrong. In those difficult and often dark times the families of our colleagues are often forgotten, this should never happen.
It’s important we take this opportunity to help shape the Covenant into something that is meaningful for all of our members, our retired colleagues, staff, volunteers and their families.
I would ask you, what do you want from the Covenant? Please get involved in the process and seize this opportunity to help make the Covenant to become a reality. If we get this right, it really can make a difference for generations to come!