Home Secretary, Right Honourable Priti Patel MP, is to be challenged to protect the people who been called to fight on the frontline during the Coronavirus pandemic, with the assurance of financial protection for police in the forthcoming spending review.
Chief Superintendent Paul Griffiths, President of the Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA) will pose the challenge to the Home Secretary as part of his President’s address at the association’s annual conference being held digitally today, Tuesday 8th September.
Paul will voice concerns around the economic crisis the country now faces, and the potential for policing to suffer as government leaders begin to address the huge financial impact of the pandemic. He will say:
“Our plea, Home Secretary, is for you to protect the policing services this country has depended on.
“We cannot bear the brunt of the economic downturn, by stripping back services that have been nothing other than crucial throughout this national emergency….Our people must not suffer as a result of a pandemic they have been called to fight on the frontline.”
Paul will also urge the Home Secretary to protect the funding announced for an additional 20,000 officers, and to prevent resources being taken from other areas to support this. He will say:
“We have seen in the past a smoke and mirrors funding approach where funding was handed out with one hand and reduced with the other. In a Service still dealing with a decade of financial hardship, the pain is still a vivid memory and the nervousness of how we move forward is still profound. We welcome the current administration’s manifesto commitment of funding for 20,000 additional officers and ask that you protect us from slipping back into the generation of austerity of the last 10 years.”
Speaking of the efforts of the police workforce in response to Coronavirus, he will say:
"Our people have, as always, been our most effective resource, our most valued asset, and the reason why we have remained strong as a Service” and will describe their response as being delivered with “dignity, enthusiasm and professionalism.”
Once again, he will call for these efforts and sacrifices to be recognised, stating that “our duty of care to our people should mirror that of our duty to our public.”
Paul will announce the association’s support of those campaigning for Harper’s Law, pledging to offer the association’s support for any exploration of how a change of this kind could be implemented, “to ensure justice is served on those found guilty of such abhorrent crimes.”
Last year, Paul requested an extension of the Elizabeth Cross to cover families of police officers killed in the line of their duty. He will stress the need for “formal recognition for families from all emergency services who pay the ultimate sacrifice.”
On diversity and inclusion, which Paul refers to as “the next national emergency facing our country”, he will ask the Home Secretary to include this as a formal part of the National Policing Board agenda, and future national inspection regimes.
Other speakers at the conference include Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Sir Stephen House QPM, Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Yvette Cooper, Chair of the NPCC, Martin Hewitt QPM, NPCC Lead for Wellbeing, CC Andy Rhodes QPM, NPCC Lead for Workforce Representation CC Phil Cain, Director General of the NCA, Lynne Owens CBE, QPM, College of Policing Chief Executive, CC Mike Cunningham QPM and Interim Chair of the College of Policing Board of Directors, Christine Elliott.
Follow the discussion on Twitter at @policesupers using #supersconference and visit our YouTube channel for videos of the main sessions which will be released after the event.