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'Our sense of duty prevails'

Tuesday, 19 December 2017


Steve White reflects on a challenging 12 months for our police service as he prepares to step down as National Chair.

The unprecedented terror threat which has resulted in three major terrorist incidents; a rise in violent and sexual crime; a recognition that we are only identifying and dealing with the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cybercrime and also a realisation that resilience within the service, and for many officers, is on the brink.

It all paints a depressing picture. But we should also be aware of the successes. I am in awe of the ability of our officers and staff to continue to rise to the challenges set by society. We have seen many examples of terror incidents being thwarted, always a story which will grab a headline, although less of one than if an attack happened.  But mostly it is what doesn’t get reported where we should be most proud. Every day, up and down the nation, officers go that extra mile, making the day work and doing their level best to reassure, to be part of their community, catching criminals, responding to provide help and often picking up the pieces of gaps in other services.

Having the privilege of carrying a warrant card brings many responsibilities. The most obvious is the sense of duty which that warrants, demands and expects. Through a tremendously difficult year the sworn officers of the police service have shown why that sense of duty is so important. For without it, the service may have failed.

The first duty of government is the protections of its citizens, and it is a duty which needs to be taken equally seriously as our own. In the last year, the government has listened to PFEW and we will continue to make sure the voices of the font line are represented at the highest levels. The coming year will not be any easier for policing but I know as always, the service will continue to do its duty. The government must also do its duty.

Thank you for your service and dedication. It has been a privilege to have served our members as Chair of PFEW, stepping down on the 31 December to go to another policing role. If you are working over the festive period, stay safe and I hope you will all have a moment of peace and happiness over Christmas and the New Year.

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