Chair praises members for response to coronavirus pandemic

18 May 2021

Gwent Police Federation chair Steve Thorpe has issued a message of thanks to officers for their response to the extraordinary demands of the coronavirus pandemic.

Steve, speaking as Wales continued its long-awaited journey out of lockdown, praised members for the way they handled the unprecedented challenges of policing the pandemic and acknowledged how difficult it had been.

He said: “Policing in the pandemic has been unbelievably challenging for all of us. But I think it has been a particularly tough time for police officers and their families. 

“Some officers have found themselves under fire just for doing their job but they should never forget they have the support of the vast majority of the public, even though it may not always feel that way.

“I think our members can be very proud of the way they have answered the demands that have been made of them, particularly when they have had to put their own health and wellbeing on the line.”

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

Steve was speaking after PFEW 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.”