New measures to provide more support and protection for officers, staff and their families have today been welcomed by Dyfed Powys Police Federation secretary Roger Webb.
The Government’s new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, formerly the Police Powers and Protections Bill, is being unveiled in Parliament today and includes proposals for a Police Covenant following campaigning by the Federation.
It will mean serving and former members of the police service are provided with continued health and wellbeing support, physical protection and support for their families, and will create a duty for the Home Secretary to report annually on the work being undertaken.
Roger said: “Our members carry out a unique job and put themselves in harm’s way every day, not least during the ongoing pandemic. It’s only right they receive the help, support and protection they need to carry out their duties.
“We’ve long campaigned for a Police Covenant and welcome the support and protection it will offer our members.
“Now we’re calling on the Government to back up the bill by giving officers the coronavirus vaccine which will make a real difference and underline its commitment to their safety and protection.”
Alongside the establishment of the covenant, the bill legislates to double the maximum sentences for those convicted of assaulting emergency workers in England and Wales to two years – which the Federation has campaigned for.
It will give better legal protection to police drivers setting out that their driving standards will be judged against the ‘competent and careful peer’ with the same training, rather than with a member of the public.
It also allows Special Constables to formally join the Police Federation. The Federation has campaigned on this issue and had regular discussions with the Home Office, Association of Special Constabulary Officers (ASCO), the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) over the issue.
Roger said: “As a Federation we’ve campaigned on issues that directly affect our members so it’s pleasing to see better protection for officers involved in driving incidents and tougher sentences for thugs who assault emergency workers. These will make a real difference to our members.”
The measures were also welcomed by John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation, who said: “This bill contains a number of important changes we have been campaigning for over many years to give greater protection to police officers, and recognise the unpredictable, dangerous and demanding job they do.
“This is the first step to bring these changes into law; we must grab this opportunity and ensure the bill brings about a positive, meaningful and tangible difference for our colleagues.”