90 days from today is Tue, 07 March 2023
23 May 2018
The Home Secretary will seek to draw a line under an era of running battles between Government and the police by acknowledging the mounting pressures faced by officers.
Sajid Javid will use his first major speech since his appointment to offer an olive branch to rank-and-file personnel following years of acrimony over funding cuts and staffing reductions.
Pointing to the experiences of his brother, who is a senior police officer, Mr Javid will make clear he understands the impact of the job.
Addressing the annual conference of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) in Birmingham, the Home Secretary will pledge to provide “tools, the powers and the back-up that you need to get the job done”.
He will say: “For those of you who stand on the front line, be in no doubt that I will be standing with you.
“I’m not arrogant enough to turn up here after three weeks in the job and tell you how to do yours.
“What I will say is that I am listening and I get it. I get that there’s increased demand.”
Striking a softer tone than his two Tory predecessors when addressing the annual conference, Mr Javid will cite accounts shared with him by frontline police personnel.
“You’ve told me you’re feeling stretched, overburdened and not sufficiently rewarded,” he will say. “I know it’s frustrating when your rest days get cancelled – often at short notice.
“And I know your work can take its toll on your mental and physical health. And you deserve to be respected and valued.”
He will discuss his experiences growing up in a road in Bristol once described as “Britain’s most dangerous street” and his conversations with his brother Bas Javid, a chief superintendent with West Midlands Police.
“Over the years, I’ve heard what he has to say about policing,” the Cabinet minister will say.
“I know the tricky situations he’s been in. He’s been hurt more times than I want to know from being assaulted on duty.
“I’ve seen the impact the job has on family life. And, as you would expect from a brother, he doesn’t shield me from the truth.”
Describing being taken out on a ride-along in the back of his brother’s police car in Bristol city centre, he will recall his shock at hearing the abusive language he was subjected to first hand, saying that as a result he understands “how hard and horrible it can be being a police officer”.
The federation’s annual conference has been the setting for a number of flashpoints, particularly during Theresa May’s time at the Home Office.
Mrs May was heckled and booed in 2012 after telling officers they should “stop pretending” police were being picked on.
Then in 2014 she shocked those gathered by laying down the law to the federation and hitting them with a raft of surprise reforms.
At last year’s conference, Mr Javid’s predecessor Amber Rudd received a testy response over crime rates and funding.
As of September there were 121,929 officers across the 43 territorial forces in England and Wales – a fall of nearly 20,000 compared with a decade earlier.
The reduction has fallen under the spotlight after a deadly wave of violence hit London and national figures showed rises in knife and gun crime.
In his speech, PFEW chairman Calum Macleod will call on the Government to show support for emergency services workers and “agree that they are not society’s punch bags for those fuelled by drink and drugs, or trying to evade arrest”
For all the details of this years conference - click here