30 June 2021
The organisation representing more than 1,000 police officers across Wiltshire has voiced its astonishment that not one of the candidates for the rearranged Police and Crime Commissioner Election have bothered to contact them.
Mark Andrews, who Chairs the Wiltshire Police Federation, has gone public on the snub from politicians from all parties and highlighted how this will leave whoever is successful in August’s election with a huge knowledge gap.
He has now issued an “open invitation” to all the candidates vying for the job to pick up the phone and call him – and find out the issues that really matter to the brave front line police officers out there keeping people safe.
Mark said: “Wiltshire Police have faced tremendous pressures over recent years; Novichok, managing Covid, assaults on officers and limited resources are just the tip of the iceberg. It is important anyone who is putting themselves forward for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner understands these challenges.
“That is why it is so disappointing that the Federation, the association which represents 1,000 Wiltshire Police officers, has not been contacted by any of the candidates of any of the parties to at least ask the relevant questions. This would help provide them some understanding of the police and the challenges facing our colleagues.”
The Police Federation has issued a “mini-manifesto” of policing priorities for whoever is elected that should – in the organisation’s view - be top of their in-tray.
These are to invest in the welfare and wellbeing of Wiltshire Police officers and staff; to invest in the force Headquarters, Police Stations and Training facilities; to secure more money for Wiltshire Police from Central Government; and to look into the time taken to deal with allegations of misconduct by police officers and complaints from the public.
Mark added: “These are the issues that matter to Wiltshire Police officers and should be the issues that matter to any person who wants to be Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
“This is an open invitation to all candidates. Give us a call - we are here to help you. If you are serious about making a difference for the communities you seek to represent then you really need to understand the problems we face so you can design your Policing Plan with all available information.
“Most people who go for an interview at least get to know the company they want to work for and frankly, not doing so demonstrates what could be deemed as disregard for the role or over confidence.
“As PCC you will no doubt make promises to the electorate, at the very least you should have an understanding about the plausibility of these promises by knowing what you have to work with and how long change takes.”
Mark concluded: “We are asking Wiltshire citizens to go out and vote again for their PCC this August, they should have the confidence in doing so they are electing a candidate who wants to make their lives better – and someone who understands policing and its challenges.”
You can see the full Wiltshire Police Federation mini-manifesto here https://www.polfed.org/wilts/news/2021/wiltshire-police-federation-shares-mini-manifesto-ahead-of-police-and-crime-commissioner-elections/