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Wiltshire Police Federation

Ministers cannot allow Frontline Review to gather dust

10 July 2019

Polfed News

The Home Office will be held to account to deliver on its frontline review plans, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) John Apter tells Policing Minister Nick Hurd.

Today (10 July) at the launch of the Home Office’s Front Line Review at the PFEW’s headquarters in Leatherhead, attended by both frontline and chief officers, Mr Apter welcomed the report, but stressed it must be followed through.

He said: “The Frontline Review is something we have been working together on for a number of months.

“I was cynical when the concept of the review was first rolled out, however, in my 27 years’ service, this is the first time I can recall the Home Office directly engaging with the frontline to seek their views and I welcome that.

“It is the first time a minister has taken a personal interest in and engaged with the frontline and to have the Minster himself, with the support of the College of Policing and National Police Chiefs’ Council and others, to be so fully behind this has made a real difference.

“My message to the Minister and chiefs is that we cannot allow the Front Line Review to gather dust on the shelf- we have to do something with it and it has to be meaningful, because if not the cynical part of me will grow.

“I am grateful we are part of the review, but I will absolutely hold the Minister and others to account to make sure this doesn’t gather dust. I am confident this will make some real positive changes,” he concluded.

Policing Minister Nick Hurd said: “This is a genuine opportunity to drive the kind of change we want to see in terms of the support that frontline officers, staff and volunteers get in doing incredibly important, difficult work that they do.”

He added: “Part of our plan is better support for the frontline – this is not simply about our responsibility or duty of care to our people, it’s also about wanting to be sure we can continue to attract the right people into policing and when they come in we can collectively get the best out of them. This strikes me as absolutely fundamental.”

Mr Hurd, who explained its findings will be used as a strong evidence base for the next spending review, continued: “This cannot be a document that just sits on the shelf. For me this is a living process – we are taking the frontline review to forces to have these conversation to make sure frontline officers, staff and volunteers are aware of process and have the chance to contribute to it.

“I want everyone in policing to feel valued for what they do, wherever they are working in the service, to have the same level of expectation of the support they receive in the difficult, demanding job they do on our behalf. I know we’re not in that place yet and we’ve got to work collectively together to change that,” he concluded.

The Home Office’s Front Line Review which was announced by the Home Secretary Sajid Javid at the Police Federation’s National Conference last year, was designed to get views and opinions directly from front line officers and staff.

The Review makes six recommendations which are aimed at improving the wellbeing of frontline officers. They include:

  • New guidance empowering police to push back against responding to inappropriate requests for attendance, often health or welfare-related, and where the police have neither the right skills or powers to respond
  • A commitment to look into shift patterns with a view to give officers more time for wellbeing, as well as personal and professional development
  • Bringing police chiefs and their staff together to find solutions to the front line’s frustrations over internal bureaucracies, including administration and inefficiencies, to free up time
  • National Inspections assessing how well forces promote staff wellbeing

Led by Mr Hurd, the research team partnered with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to hold 28 workshops across England and Wales involving all 43 forces.