Federation campaigns backed by police minister

Dyfed Powys branch chair Gareth Jones says he’s delighted that Federation campaigns are being supported by the policing minister.

Gareth says the Federation will continue to campaign for is members on issues that affect them after Kit Malthouse talked about the Government’s support for introducing a Police Covenant and police driver protections “as soon as possible”.

Mr Malthouse, who was speaking to Federation representatives during an online meeting, also supported the idea that investigations into police officers by the Independent Office for Police Conduct should be expedited and more geared towards learning than punishment.

“These are all issues that we, as a Federation, have been campaigning on, so it’s great to see that it’s having an impact,” said Gareth.

“They are all issues that affect our members, so I’m delighted to hear that the policing minister is supporting them.

“For example, we’ve been campaigning for the introduction of a Police Covenant that recognises the role we have in society.

“It’s only right that officers, police staff, retired colleagues and their families are given the support and protection they deserve.”

Mr Malthouse, who was questioned by Fed reps on a range of issues, listed his top three priorities as getting crime down, recruiting 20,000 new officers and ensuring the police family is “happy, safe and well-motivated”.

On the uplift, Mr Malthouse said he was confident that 6,000 new officers would be recruited before Christmas, which would be three months ahead of schedule.

The policing minister added that the Government hopes to change the face of policing with more female and black and minority ethnic (BAME) officers also in the mix.

Gareth said: “It’s great that recruitment is ahead of schedule, we need as many officers as possible to ease the burden on colleagues and to tackle the issues that affect our communities.

“This recruitment process is an opportunity to change the face of policing, to make it more diverse, and to make it more reflective of our communities.”

National Federation chair John Apter added: "There’s still a feeling that those more experienced in life like ex-military or public sector, policing does not want them.

“The age profile in policing is incredibly young. I don’t criticise them for that because we want keen people through the door, but we want a blend. So, we’ve got to change the tone of the messaging.”

Mr Malthouse praised police officers for the relations they have built with communities which paid “enormous dividends” during the pandemic.

He assured Fed reps that the Government will see through its promise to double the custodial sentences for those who attack officers and said he would monitor what sentences judges hand out.

Gareth said: “Our Protect the Protectors campaign was hugely successful in getting the Government to focus on sentences of those who attack officers.

“We need the toughest possible sentences for those who attack officers and other emergency workers to send out the message it’s unacceptable – more so now than ever with some offenders seeking to use Covid-19 as a weapon against us.

“No one should be assaulted just for going to work, so it’s pleasing to hear the minister give his support for tougher sentences.”

  • The Police Covenant and protections for police drivers are included in the Police Powers and Protections Bill which are due before Parliament later this year or early next.