90 days from today is Mon, 28 December 2020
1 September 2020
Sussex Police Federation’s new Chair says he wants to give local Reps on Divisions more of a voice with regards to what really affects officers.
Daren Egan is the first Chair to be elected by all Sussex Police Federation members, and starts his new role today (1 September).
He says he also wants to campaign for Sussex officers to get more financial support including an increase in their the South East Allowance.
Daren served Sussex Police on the frontline for over 25 years, based in Brighton, and before becoming Federation Chair his most recent posting was a Sgt running an enforcement team.
He said: “I want the Sussex Federation to become more accountable to its members on divisions, get the local Reps more involved with their command teams so they can highlight officers genuine concerns and also get extra support from our office when doing so, the aim being to improve the welfare and working conditions of officers.”
Daren plans to get out on to the divisions, he said: "I’m going to work with the local Reps so that officers in all departments have a voice, that their concerns and feedback is forwarded onto their command teams in the hope that together any work related or welfare issues raised can be resolved.”
He also feels passionately that Sussex officers should receive more financial support from the organisation, including an uplift through the South East Allowance. Officers currently receive £1,500 a year, whereas the likes of Surrey, Essex and other provincial forces receive considerably more when their cost of living is the same.
Daren said: “Unlike my generation of officers, new officers joining now will really struggle to ever be able to afford to buy a house anywhere in Sussex. An increase in their South East allowance isn’t going to bridge the gap for them to buy a house any time soon, but the uplift will go a long way to help in the future.”
Daren said that when he joined the police 25 years ago officers were receiving a housing allowance which was almost double the current south east allowance, he said: “Officers today are more financially strained than any of their predecessors in over a generation, in addition to that the increase in workloads compared to their predecessors in staggering, they work harder”.
Sussex firearms officers who work with Surrey officers in Surrey are on different levels of the South East Allowance, and Daren said many of them had contacted him about the discrepancy of receiving less that their Surrey colleagues.
Daren realised just how important the Federation was for officers in 2002, when he received their support for a considerable amount of time while he was under investigation and taken off active duty.
A decade later he got involved in the campaign against police pension changes and in 2013 had a “heated discussion” with the then national Federation Chair at a Federation conference in Brighton.
He said: “Somewhere in that discussion with Steve White he said to me that if I felt that strongly then I should join the Federation and do something about it, so I did.”
Since then Daren has been a Federation Rep supporting officers and says he “really enjoyed it”. He said: “ I joined the Federation to be heard over pension changes, but when you start representing officers, you’re carrying several cases and you’re dealing with their welfare and everything else, you can’t help but get caught up in it. I really enjoyed it and was getting something out of it, so I stuck with it.”
Daren concludes: “I’m looking forward to the challenge. As the first Chair elected by all officers I hope members’ trust in me isn’t misplaced. They will hear me.
"They might not always agree with me, but I will always put their interests first and say how I see it, which hopefully will improve things for them.”