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On Policing this Christmas - a blog by PSA President Paul Fotheringham

PSA President Paul Fotheringham has shared his thoughts on policing this Christmas:

The nearing of Christmas is always a unique time for anyone in involved in operational policing.
Whilst most of us who observe Christmas manage to enjoy some special time with family and friends, the onset of the festive season can often mean something quite different to a serving police officer.

Thousands of colleagues will be working over the Christmas period to ensure that we continue to respond when we’re needed, no matter the day of the week.  And thousands will be dealing with the necessary bluelight responses to the Christmas festivities being enjoyed in towns and cities across the country.
It's what you sign up to when you take the policing oath. It’s part of the job – a job we do for a reason, and one of the many sacrifices we’re happy to make for the privilege of being a police officer.
What strikes me this year, is that this festive period is going to be even tougher for the blue team.

The cost of living crisis means that in common with the majority of families and households, our police officers are feeling the strain. These are police officers who have not had a real terms pay rise in years.
In addition, our workforce is one of only three public sector professions that legally cannot strike.  That is important and something we would not seek to change – the security of the state is paramount.  What is difficult, however, is that in spite of the fact that we are told our role is too important to strike, we have no procedural justice around pay, and we may be called to fill the gaps caused by public sector colleagues who can and are taking industrial action.
I hope that during this difficult time, thought and consideration goes to the police officers who are living through this situation. They are seeing people in other professions striking, often getting pay rises as a result, whilst potentially being called to support the government in dealing with the impact of these strikes, with no promise of a fair and appropriate pay award, or pay process.
As a staff association, considering and dealing with these issues sits at our core, because they are having a major impact on the wellbeing and morale of our people. We’re doing everything we can to support our members around pay, pensions, and wellbeing, but it’s a difficult road ahead as we navigate the festive period in this time of industrial unrest.
I would like to personally thank every member of the police workforce for their continued professionalism and unwavering dedication now and throughout Christmas. It never goes unnoticed by your staff associations, and I know that our communities remain incredibly grateful for your efforts to keep people safe, every day of the year.
Wishing every member of the police family, and all of our communities, a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.