4 January 2021
A petition has been set up calling on the Welsh Government to ensure police officers are prioritised as the Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out.
Set up by the father of a police officer who contracted Covid while arresting a member of the public, the petition needs to reach the 10,000 signature mark to spark a debate in the Senedd.
Roger Webb, secretary of Dyfed Powys Police Federation, said: “Police officers remain in the frontline of the nation’s response to the pandemic and put their health at risk as they go about their duties. While I clearly understand the need for the most vulnerable people in our communities, frontline health service staff and those working in care homes to be right at the top of the list for the new vaccines, I also believe that police officers should be prioritised too.
“I would urge people to sign this petition so that this issue can be discussed in the Welsh Parliament.”
Graham Bishop, who launched the petition, explained that his son passed on the virus to his heavilypregnant wife who ended up in a Covid ward in hospital.
He said: “She had to have an emergency Caesarean section with the twins born a month early. Not only are police at high risk to themselves every day, they also risk their families. Additionally, the loss of policing time is a great strain on the force when officers are off sick with Covid.”
John Apter, the national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, has also called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ‘do the right thing’ and ensure officers are prioritised for the new jabs.
He said: “This is certainly not about jumping the queue in front of the most vulnerable members of society or those on the NHS frontline. It’s about ensuring policing is resilient enough to cope with the demands of the pandemic and that my colleagues can continue to support the public during these exceptional times.”