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West Midlands Police Federation

West Midlands Police Federation contact details

Government plans police covenant

18 July 2019

Home Secretary Sajid Javid will later today announce plans to establish a police covenant to recognise the sacrifice made by police officers.

The covenant will recognise that police officers are not employees but rather hold the ‘office of constable’ which comes with a high level of personal accountability and responsibility for the protection of life and property.

Mr Javid will talk about the covenant at tonight’s Police Bravery Awards ceremony.

He will say: “I’m pleased to announce that the Government plans to introduce a police covenant to provide the support the police so richly deserve.

“This will be a pledge to do more as a nation to help those who serve this country. It will ensure the sacrifice made by the police is properly recognised.

“I’m in awe of every officer who plays their part in keeping this country safe. Rest assured, the Government has your back – and the police covenant will make sure of that.”

Rich Cooke, chair of West Midlands Police Federation, has welcomed the news:  “Attending and picking up the pieces of shootings, stabbings, suicides and being physically attacked yourself are happening multiple times to the same individuals across the Force. As the latest HMICFRS report highlights, one in five serving officers and staff now have a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. 

“For most bobbies, the experience of traumatic incidents is weekly or even daily. The strangulation of resources and specialisation of functions has concentrated the handling of certain types of incidents and investigations in the hands of fewer police. This makes them experts in their field but it also means that for many there is no respite from exposure to evil and trauma.

“None of us would deny that this is what we signed up to. I cannot ever recall hearing a single complaint from a police officer on that score. Most of us see policing as a vocation. Like soldiers in the army, we do what we do out of a sense of public duty, and with knife crime soaring we often find ourselves on the front-line of violent crime. 

“Given all this, the adoption of a new police covenant, which former cabinet minister Esther McVey MP and the Police Federation have advocated should now be enshrined in law, is urgent and something the new Prime Minister should make a top priority.

“A covenant would provide a legal guarantee of care and support for colleagues, recognising the unique nature of the job. And it would be the first crucial step in the long, painful journey towards restoring the policing vocation to its former standing.”

The Home Secretary will also give his backing to plans for the Police Federation to extend its support to Special Constables, which will give the volunteers the option of the same protections as their colleagues.

There will be a consultation period on the plans for the covenant.