Gwent Police Federation chair Maria Henry today welcomed a decision to enshrine a Police Covenant in law and says it will recognise the unique role of officers and staff.
Maria was speaking after the Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed at the Police Superintendents’ Association annual conference that the Police Covenant will be introduced in legislation.
The covenant will cover all 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.
“Policing is a unique job,” Maria said. “Our members put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect and serve the public. As a Federation, we’ve been campaigning for a covenant to recognise the unique role they have and to offer the support and protection they deserve,
“I’m delighted to see it take another big step towards becoming a reality,” she added.
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.
Ms Patel, in her speech to the Police Superintendents’ Association, 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.