90 days from today is Mon, 04 March 2024
23 December 2020
To put it mildly this is a year I think we all want to see the back of.
No one could have predicted what we would be facing and the impact the pandemic would have - but what I had no difficulty in predicting was how all of our Wiltshire Police colleagues would react and step up to deal with whatever was thrown at them.
Over the last 20 years I have seen how we effectively deal with major incidents but nothing to this level.
I understand the impact the crisis has taken, and continues to take on all of our colleagues - so would encourage them to seek support if you need it from the Police Federation, other staff associations or our Occupational Health Unit.
Please don’t suffer in silence.
At this time of year, I normally like to highlight how hard the Federation has worked for our members and what we have achieved on their behalf. This year, however, although I am satisfied we have done all we can to look after our colleague’s welfare, I would be embarrassed to labour the point of our efforts as they pale into insignificance with the risks Wiltshire Police officers have taken, the hours they have worked and the stress they have managed.
Colleagues have my utmost thanks and admiration for all they have done.
Sadly I have been appalled by the manner in which some of the public and the press have yet again pounced on us for trying to navigate our way through often confusing Government guidance and legislation on how to keep people save.
I recognise how this criticism can hurt but I am so proud of how we have worked with our communities. We are an example to others and I have highlighted this to the media and across the national forums I attend.
Even with the excellent news a vaccine brings, I sadly don’t believe things will return to normal (whatever normal will be) next year; in fact I think we will have even more challenges on the horizon, such as dealing with the consequences of Brexit and the Stonehenge tunnel.
What all colleagues can be assured of, no matter what comes our way, is that the Wiltshire Police Federation team and I will continue to work tirelessly to look after our colleagues interests and make sure Police Regulations are adhered to.
This festive period will be different for many – and of course it is no holiday for many police officers. I would say whatever it holds, please keep safe and we hope our colleagues manage to enjoy some time with their family in Covid safe way.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year