Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom says a letter of support from Prince William will be a morale booster for officers tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
Liz thanked the Duke of Cambridge for recognising the ‘hard work, dedication and courage’ shown by members in the face of the crisis.
She said: “We’re living through extraordinary times and our members are facing unprecedented challenges in their line of duty. To have their hard, dedication and courage recognised by Prince William, who was also writing on behalf of his wife, Catherine, in this way means a lot and will help to maintain their spirits.
“I also thank the Duke for highlighting the potential impact of this crisis on our members’ mental wellbeing. We’re here to support them and are working closely with the Force to do everything we can to look after their welfare.
“Help is available, and we would encourage anyone who finds themselves struggling to access support.”
The Duke of Cambridge wrote to the Federation to express his and the Duchess of Cambridge’s thanks ‘for the truly remarkable work that the police forces of the United Kingdom are doing, day in day out, to keep us all safe and keep the country going during these extraordinarily difficult times”.
He wrote: “The willingness of emergency service personnel to work tirelessly to protect the interests of others is a source of tremendous pride for this country.
“Having spent the last few weeks speaking with members of the emergency responder community, I have heard first-hand about the challenges they are facing at the moment, but I have also been struck by their remarkable commitment and ‘can do’ attitude at a time like this.”
In the letter, Prince William encouraged officers to look after their mental as well as their physical wellbeing.
“I know you take the wellbeing of your staff extremely seriously and I have heard about the helpful services provided internally to your teams, such as occupational health support and employee assistance schemes – all of which will be of vital importance as you support your staff through the weeks and months ahead,” he wrote.
“In addition to that support, I also wanted to make you aware of Our Frontline. It brings together a package of support from leading mental health charities working in partnership with Police Care UK, the Ambulance Staff Charity and the Fire Fighters Charity and offers confidential support tailored to a person’s need and preferences.
“We hope this service will complement existing provision and make a real difference in supporting the mental wellbeing of those on the frontline. I hope you will find it of interest.
“If there is anything else we can do to help at this time, please do not hesitate to let us know. In the meantime, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and all your colleagues for your work, your determination and your courage. The country owes you all an enormous debt of gratitude,” he added.
National Federation chair John Apter has written back to the Duke of Cambridge to thank him for his support.
John wrote: “Policing during the COVID-19 pandemic is something none of us have experienced, but my colleagues have worked tirelessly to keep communities safe and alleviate the burden on the NHS.
“I am incredibly proud of those 120,000 police officers we represent across England and Wales who have selflessly risen to this challenge, despite their own family worries and concerns.
“In this time of crisis, please do not underestimate just how much your kind words will mean to police officers across the country. On their behalf, thank you for recognising their dedication, bravery and commitment.”