The new Police Covenant “will give us a voice we have never had”, Cumbria Police Federation has said.
Following a campaign by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), the Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced that a Police Covenant will be enshrined in law, ensuring that the welfare of officers, police staff and their families is placed under regular Parliamentary scrutiny.
Ms Patel also announced the results of the public consultation, which found more than 90% of respondents backed Government plans for a Police Covenant.
The Covenant will apply to serving and former police personnel and creates a statutory duty for forces to support officers. It is expected to focus on protection, health and wellbeing, and support for families, and the Home Secretary will report annually to Parliament.
Paul Williams, Chairman of Cumbria Police Federation, said: “After the past decade of the police service receiving a continued kicking, this is very welcome.
“It’s a clear message that we are being taken seriously and, although it is going to be difficult to apply practically, with the right effort, determination and teamwork, this will make a huge difference and will give us a voice we have never had.
“The Home Secretary has demonstrated support for the police and continues to do so, which is very pleasing and refreshing. I very much welcome her comments yesterday, which are a far cry from being told we are ‘crying wolf’. This is good progress for the police service.”
PFEW Chairman John Apter said: “What I would expect the Police Covenant to focus on is police officers, police staff and their families – it’s really important that we don’t forget their families – about the training they receive, about the support they receive, around not only physical injuries but also mental health issues, because so often the invisible injuries have been forgotten and ignored. This Covenant needs teeth.”