National Chair John Apter sat down this month with Home Secretary Priti Patel for the inaugural ‘The Chair Asks' feature. This is a new section in POLICE magazine where prominent figures involved in policing are quizzed by the Chair about the questions on members’ minds.
This wide-ranging and exclusive interview covered subjects including the Police Covenant, vilifying of officers on social media, ‘Stop and search’ and how best to protect what the Home Secretary described as ‘a very special and specific blue light service’.
The Home secretary praised the response of officers during the pandemic and emphasised that: ‘I want your members, and officers around the country, to know that they have got a Home Secretary, and a Prime Minister and a Government that fully backs them.’
The wide-ranging discussion covered many of the topics on the lips of members. These included:
HOME SECRETARY: “I think it is absolutely vital that we give officers absolute protection. By that I mean protection isn’t just kit and body armour. It’s the human side – it’s the stuff that matters to them in terms of their welfare and their safety.”
HOME SECRETARY: “Stop and Search absolutely is a crucial tool in policing and I think it will be a sorry state of affairs, quite frankly, if police officers feel intimidated to use one of these fundamental tools that they are well trained to use.”
JOHN APTER: “It causes tension, but I stand by Stop and Search being an incredibly important and useful tool in preventing crime and saving lives.”