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Sussex Police Federation

A Christmas message from Sussex Police Federation

24 December 2019

Sussex Police Federation would like to wish all of our members and their families a very happy Christmas.

If you’re working, we hope it’s a tranquil one and that you get to the opportunity to spend some meaningful time with your families and have some time off over the festive period.

As we approach the end of the year, it is important to look back and reflect on the past 12 months. As your Chair it is especially poignant for me this year, as this will be my last Christmas in post. It has been an absolute honour being your Chair and I hope that I have represented you well. I have met many of you during my tenure and your continued dedication and commitment despite extremely difficult circumstances has not been missed. I will retire from Sussex Police in the Summer of 2020 knowing that the Frontline is in good hands.

Call volumes and workloads have risen and the challenges of policing continue to broaden and yet these fall on a smaller number of officers and staff. But, as usual and despite the challenges, there has been some fantastic policing in Sussex over the last 12 months.

As a Federation we have visited almost every police station this year and brought the PMAS coffee wagon to a number of them!

We have purchased a Holiday Lodge, for the exclusive use of serving Federated members and the initial feedback we have received has been really positive, I hope that as many of you as possible have the opportunity to stay there.

We have also succeeded, after a long battle with the Force, to ensure that those officers who complete periods of working at a higher rank, and are paid Temporary Salary, receive the pensions they are entitled to. We appreciate that has come at a cost to some, as missed contributions have had to be paid, but, having the better pensions this provides for, every month for the rest of your life is, in our opinion, worth the cost.

Behind the scenes we have continued to ensure that officers are provided with the best protection while doing their job and that when things do go wrong, in the risky role we perform, that they are treated fairly and appropriately – ensuring legal advice is available where appropriate – this is our core business and something we will always do no matter what else is going on.

2020 is likely to be a busy year in policing.

The Queen's Speech announced the Police Protections and Powers Bill, a Police Covenant and a Royal Commission to examine the efficiency/effectiveness of the criminal justice system.

It also confirmed measures to allow Special Constables to join the Police Federation, an idea first proposed by Sussex some years ago, and plans for a new test to assess a police officer’s standard of driving, so this can be considered during an investigation.

We welcome this backing from a new Government/Parliament that seems to be willing to offer the “top cover” to police officers which is much needed. We will continue to push to ensure appropriate sentences are handed out to those assaulting police officers.

We also look forward to our police numbers going up by the additional 129 in the Government’s first officer uplift, which comes on top of the additional 250 planned by the Force with the precept uplift. We will wait and see what years 2 and 3 of the Government uplift provide for Sussex.

Whilst many officers will be celebrating Christmas at home with families, let’s spare a thought for our colleagues and families who are working Christmas and the New Year to keep us safe.

We hope you keep safe over the holidays, however should you require the assistance of the Police Federation over the festive season, please contact us. We’ll have representatives available and on call over the period.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.