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NEWS


CHAIR’S CAUTIOUS WELCOME FOR COVID FUNDS


Our National Chair John Apter gave a cautious welcome to the Government’s announcement of £60 million of funding for Covid enforcement – which will be divided equally between police forces and local authorities. But he warned that there are no new ofcers to carry out the visible policing Boris Johnson promised, only existing ofcers doing overtime. Mr Apter said: “In this time


of crisis when there is so much pressure on policing, any genuine new money which helps ease that pressure can only be a positive thing. Alongside this announcement must be an efective public information campaign. This must make it crystal clear what is expected of the public.” The funding follows the earlier


announcement by the Prime Minister of an increase in patrols to ensure that people are complying with restrictions, particularly in high-risk areas. Police will also provide more support to local authorities and NHS Test and Trace to enforce self-isolation requirements. Local councils will use the


funding to increase their compliance work and enforcement checks on businesses. This includes environmental health ofcers carrying out inspections, issuing fines and closing premises in the case of non-compliance.


What the Fed did for me...


“TEN SECONDS WAS ALL IT TOOK TO CHANGE MYLIFE” PC Daniel Reed of Durham Constabulary lost two and a half years of his career and was plunged into financial hardship by a 10-second incident on duty.


In November 2016, he was called


to a pub in Darlington to arrest a man for racially aggravated offences. The suspect refused to come quietly and violently resisted his arrest by fighting with officers. PC Reed explained: “He was a


huge guy, well known as a dangerous individual. I punched him five times, then paused to try to get some control. I thought he was about to bite me so, in a split second, I struck him a final time. I had no idea what would happen next.” The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) – the forerunner of the Independent Office for Police Conduct – launched and led its own investigation and accused PC Reed of common assault and attempting to pervert the course of justice. “They disputed what I had written in my statement and thought I was trying to cover my back, which was untrue,” he said.


DID YOU KNOW? Motor vehicle


allowances for members using their own vehicles for duty are payable at ‘essential user’ or ‘casual user’ rates according to your designation. Mileage is set according to HMRC rates (currently 45p per mile). For more on your rights see - www.polfed.org


He was suspended and later fingerprinted and photographed. Nearly a year later, he appeared in court to answer a charge of actual bodily harm. Mercifully, the magistrates decided PC Reed had acted reasonably in the circumstances and they acquitted him. But the IPCC was not prepared to let the matter drop and directed a gross misconduct hearing. The Federation was at his side throughout the legal process. “My Fed rep, Andy Jackson, was at the end of the phone any time I needed him,” said PC Reed. “He explained the process of what would happen and told me the Federation would provide the best specialist legal representation available. That was very reassuring. I had an excellent solicitor, the barrister in court was fantastic and so was the barrister at the Police Appeals Tribunal.”


Daniel Reed


Nevertheless, the gross misconduct hearing found against him. He was dismissed from his job on the spot and found himself in a “living hell”. He was written up in the local and national media, trolled online, and saw his savings dwindle away. “My partner had to use her wage


to pay all the bills,” he explained. “I went to a lot of interviews, but I was breaking down before or during them. I got one job offer withdrawn. After six months I eventually found work and some self-respect returned. One thing that helped keep me together was knowing that the Federation was working hard to appeal the decision and there was a chance of some light at the end of the tunnel.” The Federation appealed on PC Reed’s behalf and put together a strong case highlighting errors in the outcome of the gross misconduct hearing. PC Reed was reinstated with immediate effect and the Federation helped him to recover pension and backpay. “I was nervous about returning but Durham Constabulary have more than welcomed me back and it’s like being at home again. I never had any doubt that I wanted to go back, I’ve always been proud to serve as a police officer,” he said. “But when people moan about the Fed and say: ‘What do we get other than a diary?’ I say to those people you literally don’t know what’s around the corner. In a split second’s time you might need more than a diary.”


Have you got a story of how the Fed helped you? Email editor@polfed.org


NOVEMBER 2020 | POLICE | 31


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