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Uncertain times

13 July 2016

The last few weeks have been the most turbulent times in politics that I can remember.

The public vote for Brexit in June triggered a whole chain of events culminating in the appointment of Theresa May, the longest-serving Home Secretary in recent years and architect of a challenging period of police reform, as our new Prime Minister.

Only time will tell what effect this will have on the police service and the reform programme but I am not expecting any great change.

So, with this in mind, it is good to know that Lord Willy Bach, who was elected as Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in May, has made a commitment to maintain police visibility.

Again, we are going to have to wait to see if he can deliver on this pledge. Ultimately, with the ongoing squeeze on funding, I fear there is only so much he can do. The Force continues to face the same dilemma - how can it maintain an effective service for the communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland while also balancing the books?

Leicestershire Police Federation developed an effective working relationship with the Force's first PCC - Sir Clive Loader - and we have already held a productive first meeting with his successor.

For our part, we are committed to working with him and the chief officer team to do all we can to maintain the first class service our communities deserve. But we are equally committed to representing the Force's constables, sergeants and inspecting ranks to ensure officer safety is at the heart of all we do.

The Force's seven-point plan on officer assaults, launched at the instigation of the Federation, is just part of that. We need to ensure that officers are not put at risk due to the cost-cutting measures necessitated by budgetary restraints. There should be no short cuts on health and safety matters, particularly in relation to the increasing number of officers now reported to be suffering mental health issues.

Our people are our most valuable resource and we must invest in that resource.

  • The Federation can help you access support if you feel you are struggling with a mental health issue or a stress-related illness. Please do not hesitate to contact your local representative or the Federation office if you would like more information.

Tiff Lynch