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NEWS


POLICE MINISTER CONFIRMS SUPPORT FOR TOUGHER SENTENCES


P


olicing Minister Kit Malthouse has reiterated his support for the officer uplift and longer


custodial sentences for those who assault police officers and other emergency service workers.


He was speaking to Federation reps and our National Chair John Apter at an online discussion in October. He listed his top three priorities as getting crime down, recruiting 20,000 new cops and ensuring the police family is “happy, safe and well-motivated”. Mr Malthouse talked about working for Boris Johnson during the Prime Minister’s tenure as Mayor of London. “As Deputy for Policing from 2008 to 2012, we dealt with a knife crime epidemic and I worked with three Met Commissioners. Coming back to policing in my current role feels like slipping on a pair of old jeans,” he said. He said his time at City Hall had


taught him to “make sure the frontlines are with you, that they know they are valued and have your support and top cover”. He added that Mr Johnson is determined that law and order will be a key part of his platform for the Government. Challenged over sentencing, Mr Malthouse pledged to double the time spent in custody by those who attack officers and said he would monitor the sentences judges hand out. He said: “A case in the media the other day was somebody who had broken a police officer’s nose and cheek and he ended up with a suspended sentence. To me that is not acceptable.” On the uplift, the Government has brought in 4,000 new recruits and Mr Malthouse is confident of hitting 6,000 before Christmas – three months ahead of schedule. Mr Apter challenged the Minister over the issue of retention. The PFEW Chair said: “Despite the


Catch-up with a CAPLO:


Aaron Horsfall West Yorkshire Police


Why did you become a CAPLO? It was always my long-term goal. I wanted to be the person who could make a real diference to my colleagues who have it tough at the minute.


Federation firing a warning shot about how we recruit officers, there’s still a feeling that policing does not want those more experienced in life, like ex- military or public sector. The age profile in policing is incredibly young. I don’t criticise them for that because we want keen people through the door, but we want a blend. So, we’ve got to change the tone of the messaging.”


Mr Malthouse agreed and added that the Government hopes to change the face of policing with more female and BAME officers also in the mix. On policing Covid, Mr Malthouse praised police officers for the relations they have built with communities which paid “enormous dividends”. This is exemplified by the 14,000 fixed penalty notices issued against a population of 65 million, he said. Mr Apter responded that he felt that UK policing had handled the pandemic fantastically. The Minister also assured reps that “no-one should be in any doubt” that the Government is committed to introducing a Police Covenant and better legal protection for police drivers as soon as possible. He also stated he wishes to see investigations by the Independent Office for Police Conduct balanced more towards learning rather than punishment.


DID YOU KNOW? If you are prevented by duty from obtaining a meal in your usual way you will be reimbursed the difference between the meal obtained and the meal you would usually take. Receipts will need to be presented, and the expenditure must be reasonable. For more on your rights see - www.polfed.org


What is your biggest challenge so far? Settling into my new role despite Covid and trying to get my head around the 2020 Regulations.


What is your proudest moment since becoming a CAPLO? Seeing the team I inherited grow and develop into knowledgeable individuals who strive to gain the best results for their colleagues. I am pleased with the ongoing relationship I am forming with the Appropriate Authority. We have a similar mindset, that 99 per cent of ofcers generally make genuine honest mistakes and shouldn’t be disciplined. I can see a future where ofcers will feel comfortable being involved in learning and development as part of Reflective Practice which forms part of the new regulations.


What’s your top concern around conduct and performance? My colleagues are busy. They don’t always have the time to read emails about subjects they don’t think apply to them. So, for me, it’s about making sure they have a clear understanding of what these new regulations mean and how they may afect them.


Should members be careful what they do or say of duty? A recent case in Scotland found the behaviour of ofcers on WhatsApp can afect public confidence in the police service. Newly appointed ofcers often struggle with the restraints the ofce of constable brings, and more are being served regulation notices for of-duty matters. So, as a local board, we try to educate and encourage colleagues to be cautious.


NOVEMBER 2020 | POLICE | 11


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