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Wiltshire Police Federation

Officers who put their lives on the line every day should not be using foodbanks, says outgoing Wilts Chief

12 February 2023

"We should not be talking in the 21st century about having a foodbank for public servants, let alone police officers, who are putting their lives on the line every day."

That was outgoing Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard’s comment on the Wiltshire Police Federation Law and Larder Scheme.

The Law and Larder Scheme aims to provide non-perishable food and toiletries to members of Wiltshire Police and their families who are in need.

Wiltshire Police Federation Chair Phil Matthews said "The Law and Larder scheme was put together by Federation Secretary Sarah Ennis. The Federation is very aware of how officers are struggling financially and we want to help where we can.

“This is a scheme where officers and staff can make a request for a food parcel. The parcel may be essentials such as pasta, soups, coffee or tea or specialist items such as sanitary products or baby formula and nappies.

“Sarah started this project on the back end of last year while officers were reaching out for help. She secured a very early donation from Unison and a short while later, the force also donated to the scheme. There is no membership to Unison or the Federation required and we do not means test.”

Phil added: “It is a sad time when we see our police officers and civilian colleagues needing to resort to putting their hand out for help. Police officers risk their lives, their relationships and their personal freedoms on a daily basis. They then have to go home after seeing some of the most traumatic things a person can see and wonder where their fuel for the next day is coming from, can they afford to put their heating on, can they afford a decent meal.

“Police officers had to leave their families and work through Covid with absolutely no recognition from our Government. I want the Government to recognise that this is real, that cops are breaking, and that the cause of that is the Government and its constant attack on policing both publicly and financially. Shame on them.”

In an interview with the BBC, CC Pritchard said: "People are very much terrified not just by the concept but the reality of the cost of living pressures right now… My officers and staff are feeling this on a day-by-day basis."