Home Secretary Priti Patel outlines plans for policing during inaugural speech

In her first major speech since being appointed Home Secretary, Priti Patel has addressed attendees of the Police Superintendents’ Association’s (PSA) Annual Conference. The Home Secretary acknowledged that policing had been underfunded and under-supported, and outlined that she’s determined to properly address this and ‘reset’ the situation which successive Governments had allowed.

“I will do everything as Home Secretary to empower you to do your jobs,” urged Patel, before adding: “Restoring pride in policing is what I intend to do.”

On the issue of officer recruitment, the Home Secretary reiterated that funding was now in place to recruit 20,000 new police officers.

Chief Superintendent Paul Giiffiths, President of the PSA, reminded the Home Secretary in his own speech that, in order to restore officer numbers to their 2009 levels, approximately 40,000 officers would need to be recruited.

Patel also spoke about steps that she would be taking to assist and improve officer health, well-being and family support through the adoption and development of the Police Covenant, which the Federation has previously welcomed and endorses.

In a change to what has been said before, the Home Secretary indicated that both the Police Federation of England and Wales and the PSA would be invited to attend sessions of the recently convened National Policing Board.

When asked by a delegate attending conference why key bodies representing police officers had not been invited to attend the first meeting of the National Policing Board, the Home Secretary responded by saying that she’s “keen for all elements of the police family to be properly represented.”

Pressing for full representation

The Police Federation welcomes this development, but would continue to press for full representation for all police staff associations at the National Policing Board.

To better protect police officersm the Home Secretary said that she would be working with others in Government to review the sentencing guidelines which courts could administer to those who were found guilty of assaulting police officers, but gave no specific policy proposals in her speech.

Police Federation national chair John Apter, who had a meeting with the Home Secretary before she made her speech, commented: “Both the previous Home Secretary and Priti Patel have made it clear that policing has not been given the priority that it should have been afforded. The positive stance coming from the Home Office, and indeed wider Government, is refreshing and something we haven’t seen in over a decade.”

Apter concluded: “I welcome this and look forward to working with the Home Office to bring about the positive change to policing that’s being proposed and is so desperately needed.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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