Sajid Javid: Officers 'need the tools and support' to do their jobs effectively
The Home Secretary has confirmed his support for new legislation that means officers who “take on those hard to fill roles” will receive discretionary payments.
Announced at the Police Superintendents Association for England and Wales (PSAEW) conference on Tuesday (September 11), the proposals submitted by the National Police Chiefs’ Council allow chief constables to give their officers bonus payments of up to £4,000 a year.
Sajid Javid said he intends to legislate so these bonuses can be given out and confirmed that chief constables will be able to authorise these payments to be backdated to September 2017.
He also told delegates at the conference that he will continue to fight on the police’s behalf so that officers have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively, including writing to police chiefs across the country stressing the importance of rolling out Tasers and spit guards.
“Making sure forces are fit for the future isn’t just about the finances,” Mr Javid added. “You also need to have the tools and support that you need to do your jobs.”
He noted that 87 per cent of those leading child protection units receive no training or development for the role.
“My department continues to assist the college to develop the licence to practice scheme for people who are working in those high-risk areas.
“This should mean that no one is put in the position where they’re being asked to take on vital public protection roles without adequate preparation.”
The National Audit Office released a report this week that accused the Home Office of not having a clear picture of what individual forces need to meet local and national demands.
Mr Javid said that while he disagrees with some aspects of the report, it does rightly recognise the pressures of policing.
“That’s why we have invested over £1 billion more in policing each year than we did three years ago, including more that has come through council tax,” he added.
“That’s why last week, I announced a £21 million extra investment to help law enforcement agencies fight online child sexual exploitation.
“That’s why as a Government we’ve put over £50 million over the next year to boost cyber capabilities both at a national and regional, and local level.
“And we’re also making £40 million available over the next two years to support the new serious violence strategy.”
Mr Javid concluded his speech by speaking about the Government’s commitment to work on mental health in the workforce, particularly after results from a PSAEW resilience survey showed that half of the respondents reported feelings of anxiety and 27 per cent reported signs of depression.
“I want us to work together to totally transform the welfare provision for policing,” he said.
“We’ve already pledged £7.5 million for the new national police welfare service and today I’m pleased to announce that £400,000 of this money will be used to support the proposal by Chief Constable Andy Rhodes and the College of Policing to get a new wellbeing outreach prevention service on the road and starting next month.”
This service will see a fleet of buses pulling up outside police stations and providing accessible, stigma-free support and information for any officer who feels that they need it.