A decision by the Home Secretary to enshrine a Police Covenant in law has today been welcomed by Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom.
Liz said the covenant would be a big step in improving the support and protection for officers.
“There will be a focus on protection, health and wellbeing, for serving and former police officers and staff and support for their families, which is to be welcomed,” Liz said.
“Our members carry out a unique job and put themselves in harm’s way every day in the line of duty, not least during the ongoing pandemic.
“It’s only right that they should be offered the help, support and protection they need to be able to carry out that duty for the benefit of us all. Our members will welcome the benefits of this covenant and the support that it gives them,” she added.
The covenant creates a statutory duty for forces to support police officers and places a requirement on the Home Secretary to report annually to Parliament.
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 the 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.