A Police Covenant has come a step closer with the announcement by Home Secretary Priti Patel of the launch of an eight-week consultation. The move has been welcomed by John Apter, the national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, who is fully supportive of the process. The news comes in the wake of a campaign by the Federation for a Police Covenant which would see the welfare of police officers, police staff and their families enshrined in law.
Apter said: “Policing is a dangerous and unpredictable job. It’s essential that there’s something in place that ensures police officers, staff, retired colleagues and their families receive the support they deserve. This consultation is an opportunity to help shape what a Police Covenant will look like. This is something I feel extremely passionate about and it’s great to see this taking a step closer to becoming a reality.”
The Home Secretary unveiled her plans during her speech at the Annual Conference of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the National Police Chiefs’ Council. The consultation period will seek the views of police officers, their families and other stakeholders on how best to protect the physical health and well-being of officers, as well as how best to recognise officers publicly for their bravery and continual hard work.
The Home Secretary said: “The police confront danger so we don’t have to. Current and former officers, members of staff and the families that stand behind them deserve recognition for their immense sacrifices. That’s why I am bringing forward plans for a Police Covenant – our promise to the policing community that they will always have the support of the nation.”
In addition to the Police Covenant consultation, a cross-Government Crime and Justice Task Force and an extra £41 million of funding for 18 police forces to drive down crime will be introduced.
Priti Patel commented: “Crime is not going to go away overnight and so we need long-term strategies. I will do everything I can to ensure that police officers and our police forces in general are equipped to meet the challenges they will face.”