Officers praised for policing the pandemic

18 May 2021

Dyfed Powys Police Federation chair Gareth Jones has thanked officers for their professionalism and dedication throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking as Wales takes the next step on its journey out of lockdown, Gareth said members should be proud of the way they stepped up to meet the unprecedented challenges of policing the pandemic and acknowledged the challenges they had faced.

He said:  “We all know how difficult it has been since the pandemic was declared. As ever, police officers have been fully committed to serving and protecting their communities but, of course, throughout the pandemic, they have had the extra pressure of knowing that while they are doing that they are risking exposure to Covid and possibly contracting it themselves or passing it on to their families.

“While so many people just see the uniform, it is also good to remember that underneath that police officers are facing the same pressures as others – they have been worried about the pandemic, trying to home school at times and also having to juggle their finances if their partner has lost their job or been furloughed.”

Wales has now moved to alert level two with the reopening of indoor hospitality and entertainment venues among the latest changes.

He spoke after the Federation’s national chair, John Apter, sent out a message to the public as the lockdown restrictions began to ease.

In an open letter published in the Daily Express, he said:  “This has been a very difficult time for many – losing loved ones, losing jobs, and having restrictions placed on us which would have been unimaginable before this pandemic.

“We have all done our best during these past 15 months and collectively our goal has been to save lives and stop the spread of this deadly virus. Police officers have been put in an incredibly difficult position, policing the ever-changing Covid-19 rules and legislation. 

“Without your support and understanding, their job would have been impossible. You will have seen a style of policing which has been alien to you. This is also alien to my colleagues. We did not join policing to police in the way we’ve had to. But this has been necessary to protect each other and save lives.”

And in a special message of gratitude, John said: “To you, the public, that silent majority who I know support my colleagues, thank you.”