A campaign led by Tatton MP Esther McVey to ensure Cheshire Police have more protection in and out of the job through a Police Covenant moved a step closer to becoming reality today as an eight-week consultation into the change got underway.
Ms McVey campaigned for Government to introduce the covenant – a measure which it adopted last summer - and secured backing from all 19 Conservative Police and Crime Commissioners up and down the country, the Police Superintendents’ Association and the National Police Federation of England and Wales.
Ms McVey said: “Officers in Cheshire deserve to be recognised for their dedication and hard work. Policing is a dangerous job and every day they are willing to put their lives on the line to protect each and every one of us without a thought for their own safety. We owe it to them to show our gratitude.
“I have had many discussions with Police and Crime Commissioners, Police Federation representatives and Superintendents and I will be putting their views across to colleagues in the coming days to ensure this Covenant delivers on what it needs to. I am also working on a submission with colleagues in Westminster who also fought for the Covenant to be introduced.”
The consultation was announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel and will seek views of police officers, families and stakeholders on how best to protect the physical health and wellbeing of police officers, as well as how best to recognise them publicly for their bravery and hard work.
Ms McVey’s submission will include the suggestion of increasing the sentence for anyone found guilty of assaulting a police officer. As it stands a 12 month sentence can be given under the crime of assaulting an emergency worker – a sentence doubled by Government last year. Ms McVey believes the covenant is a perfect opportunity for sentencing powers to be increased.
Latest figures show there were 625 assaults on Cheshire Police officers in 2018/19, according to Home Office figures.