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Sussex Police Federation

A New Year Message from Sussex Police Federation Chair Daren Egan

4 January 2021

"In 2021, Sussex Police colleagues will continue to rise to the challenge"

Federation Chairman Daren Egan looks back on 2020 and ahead to a hopefully brighter 2021 in a New Year's Message.

The year 2020 will be one that none of us ever forgets.

It’s been relentless at times - assaults against Police Officers sadly on the rise, the impact the global pandemic has had on Policing, the EU exit along with the associated problems and protests.

Throughout this time Sussex Police officers were asked to carry on - and carry on they did without complaint. When the pandemic started all those months ago, officers were told it’s business as usual, but there was nothing usual about it. Knowing the risks and with very little PPE, colleagues continually put themselves at risk to keep us all safe, whether it was putting hands on criminals or policing protests, we rose to the challenge.

Even at the end of 2020 it was the year that kept on giving, or in the case of police officers taking. The recent chaos at the port of Dover saw Sussex Police officers giving up their Christmas to head over to Kent in support of their colleagues at the border crossing with France and we must not forget their families who were also affected by not being able to spend time with their loved ones over Christmas.

Officers working in Sussex on Christmas Day saw 16 of their colleagues assaulted in separate incidents across the county, some with serious injuries, a reminder of the dangerous job we do even during the festive period.

The news of a vaccine offers hope that we will get back to ‘normal’ eventually, but we know all too well when we were recently plunged into Tier 4, the crisis is not over and we will face more difficult months ahead.

The Police Federation have lobbied the Prime Minister to get front line police officers added to the vaccine priority list as we continue to Police the lockdown measures, arrest criminals and keep people safe.

National Federation Chair John Apter recently said “policing is a tough and often thankless job, but it’s important to remember that the vast majority of the public do support us. What you do every day does not go unnoticed and it is appreciated by that silent majority”.

I echo his words as they are relevant to all the hard working Sussex Police officers who do not always get the public recognition they deserve, but the public see us stepping up during every crisis and we will continue to do so whatever may come in the year ahead.

Looking back on a year where it has been hard to imagine an end to the struggles both personally and in the work place, I would encourage you all to reflect on jobs well done, the public you have helped, and the positive reputations we have left imprinted on victims who called upon us when needed.

From me it’s a message that you should be proud of what we have achieved this past year, thank you all for the hard work and no doubt for what will be expected from us in 2021, we will continue to rise to the challenge.