Police Covenant progress welcomed

Dyfed Powys Police Federation secretary Roger Webb has welcomed a decision by the Home Secretary to enshrine a Police Covenant in law.

The covenant applies to serving and former police personnel and creates a statutory duty for forces to support them.

It will focus on protection, health and wellbeing, and support for them and their families, and places a requirement on the Home Secretary to report annually to Parliament.

Roger said: “A covenant is something that the Federation has been campaigning for, so it’s really pleasing to see us take another big step towards it coming to fruition.

“It will offer support and protection all serving and former police personnel and their families and recognises the unique job that they do.

“The police have been on the front-line during the pandemic and continue to put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect and support the public.

“This covenant will be welcomed by our members.”

John Apter, the chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), said: “This covenant will mean much more than words to serving or former police officers. It recognises the unique position they hold in society and the fact they very often put their lives on the line.

“The benefits of this Police Covenant will be welcomed by the entire policing family. We would therefore like to thank the Home Secretary for her enthusiastic support and for turning PFEW’s campaign for a covenant into a reality.”

It follows a campaign by the national Federation which included a public consultation process that found more than 90 per cent of respondents backed Government plans for a covenant.

Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the publication of the consultation response in a virtual speech to the Police Superintendents’ Association, where she also outlined a commitment to stand firmly by the side of police.

She said: “The police and the families that stand behind them deserve special recognition. Their bravery and sacrifices are what keep us and our loved ones safe. I will put the Police Covenant in law to ensure they will always have the support of the nation.”

The Government proposals ensure the covenant applies to all those working within or retired from policing roles, whether paid or as a volunteer. A new governance structure is planned to drive future activity on wellbeing and protection to fulfil the covenant.