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Police Oracle campaign calling for Covenant has Home Secretary support

PFEW chairman: 'I must acknowledge Police Oracle who have worked with us to secure this support from the government'
Published - 18/07/2019 By - Martin Buhagiar - Police Oracle

Police Oracle's calls for a Police Covenant to be introduced have today cleared another hurdle with Home Secretary Sajid Javid confirming his plans to support the campaign. 

Mr Javid will announce his intention to establish the covenant demonstrating his recognition of the bravery and commitment of police officers.

We launched our BluePrint campaign - calling for such a covenant - in January 2017 in collaboration with the Police Federation of England and Wales.

Police Oracle accused the government of failing to meet its obligation of protecting our officers both in the job and, particularly, when they have been forced out of the service because of physical injuries or mental trauma.

Speaking at the Police Federation’s Bravery Awards in London this evening he will lay out plans to establish a covenant to recognise the sacrifice made by those who are working, or have previously worked, in policing.

He will also give his backing to plans for the Fed to extend its support to Special Constables, which will give the volunteers the option of the same protections as their colleagues.

Mr Javid will say: “I’m pleased to announce the government plans to introduce a Police Covenant to provide the support the police so richly deserve.

“This will be a pledge to do more as a nation to help those who serve this country. It will ensure the sacrifice made by the police is properly recognised.

“I’m in awe of every officer who plays their part in keeping this country safe. 

“Rest assured, the government has your back – and the Police Covenant will make sure of that.”

The Covenant will recognise that police officers are not employees but rather hold the ‘office of constable’, which comes with a high level of personal accountability and responsibility for the protection of life and property. They must also abide by a code of ethics which sets out the high standards of behaviour expected from everyone who works in policing in England and Wales, both on and off duty.

A consultation will take place in due course on the principle and scope of the Police Covenant.

Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales John Apter said: “This is really good news for policing, it’s good news for our colleagues and it is clear that the Home Secretary and others within Government and elsewhere have been listening to what we have asked and have acted.

“I must also acknowledge Police Oracle and our fellow policing associations who have worked with us to secure this support from the government. If this comes to fruition it will have a hugely positive impact on the police service as a whole.”

Police Oracle editor Martin Buhagiar said: "We are delighted to have played a part in getting this campaign so far. A Police Covenant is the least our hero police officers deserve."

The announcement follows the conclusion of the Home Office’s Front Line Review, which highlighted concerns of police officers and staff and proposed a package of measures to reduce their workloads, ensure their wellbeing and give them a stronger voice in decision making.

Responding to news of the Police Covenant, Association of PCCs' chairman Mark Burns-Williamson said: “We welcome the Home Secretary’s announcement.

"PCCs have often acknowledged the outstanding job that police officers and staff do day in day out in keeping our communities safe and also the bravery they demonstrate every day.

“It is only right that as a nation we recognise the contribution made by those working in the police service and a Police Covenant is a way of doing that, potentially providing the police with both the evidence and reassurance of our support which I know many PCC colleagues have pursued with their federations, staff associations and unions.”

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