90 days from today is Wed, 04 January 2023
1 December 2021
The new Chair of Wiltshire Police Federation, Phil Matthews, has said he is passionate about pushing for fair outcomes for officers.
Phil has been in the police for nearly 20 years, starting at the Met before moving to Wiltshire 10 years ago. His most recent role was as a Sergeant on a response team in Chippenham.
After being a Federation Rep for five years, Phil said he wanted to run for Chair because he’s “passionate about fairness”.
Phil said: “Through every medium the Federation offers, from conduct to performance to equality, diversity and inclusion, I'm passionate about treating our members fairly and right.
“I think that, after five years of being a Rep, I've learnt how to negotiate with the force in order to influence them to make the right decisions. And I think I can do that from the Chair’s position really well, so I’m excited about it.
“My initial goals are that I’d like to see more cohesion between the departments, and as Chair I hope I’m in a position to be able to help the force do that, so that departments are running on similar systems and talking to each other a bit more. I also want to do more work around the accountability of our leaders.”
Phil said the biggest challenge would be coming out of COVID. He said: “We’ve got shortfalls in staff, and officer morale is the lowest it’s ever been, that I’ve seen in policing. The challenges are that the Federation needs to work closely with the organisation to try to lift everybody up again.”
He continued: “The mental health challenges are spiralling out of control. And while a lot of forces do their best to try to deal with it, I think they’re still so undereducated about it.”
Phil added: “Mark [Andrews] was an excellent Chair and I want to follow on from what he did, carry on some of the missions that he had, and develop some of my own.”
Phil said he was looking forward to meeting as many officers as possible as he settled into the role, saying: “I’ll be getting myself out across the force, without a doubt.”