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A united call for reform

President Paul Griffiths has commented on the publication of Sir Thomas Winsor’s latest report on the state of policing:

Sir Thomas Winsor, our country’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, has published his latest report into the state of policing. Alongside this, some of the Metropolitan Police’s former senior leads, supported by some of the most influential people in policing over the last ten years, have come together to publish their thoughts on the Service today.

What we see here, is a united call, from those with the most senior experience in policing, for the Government to take firm action in response to a Police Service that is at breaking point.

We welcome these stark, honest opinions, which mirror a great deal of the concerns we have been raising for several years based on the experience of our members across England and Wales. 

We note Sir Tom Winsor’s praise for the integrity and bravery of colleagues in-spite of the levels of challenge facing them, and this is something we must not forget. This week alone, we have spoken on figures published showing the staggering levels of violence against members of the service, and also the vital role that the Home Office must play in supporting Constabularies in the development and implementation of workforce policy and structures that will provide the framework these officers need to deliver.

The letter from former Met leads speaks of a ‘lawless society’ full of drug and knife crime, and Sir Winsor calls for ‘profound and far reaching reform’. This is all in line with the experience of our members, but we must place our people at the centre of this. The impact on our workforce must not be underestimated. Our people are delivering against the odds every day, dealing with far greater demand than we have seen before, and also living in a culture where their careers are often questioned and examined under the public spotlight. It’s time they became our priority.

There has never been a more united call for reform, and I would urge the next Prime Minister to making an independent review of the Police Service a clear priority. This must be built with a strong focus on the people we depend on to protect our communities, and who are dealing with the personal and collective impacts of societal change and government policy.

Many are calling for the formation of a Police Covenant, designed to recognise and support those most seriously affected by their dedication to our service and as an Association, we are completely behind this. A commitment to an independent review, with a real focus on long-lasting reform, alongside the development of a Police Covenant could once again give policing the value in society it so richly deserves.