PCC response to Home Office Front Line Review (10 July 2019)

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Association of Police and Crime Commissioner's Chair(APCC), said: "The Front Line Review presents an important opportunity to listen to the voices of police officers and staff on their experiences of the front line, including the demands placed upon them and the daily impact of this on their health and wellbeing.

"I want to acknowledge the outstanding job that police officers and staff do day in day out in keeping our communities safe. Their dedication and commitment to public service is often taken for granted but often sets an example to all of us.

"We will welcome the review's initial proposals to ensure that officer and staff wellbeing is at the heart of policing through inclusion and embedding it in the inspection framework.

"We also welcome the commitment to enable police officers and staff to focus on their core roles rather than having to increasingly respond to inappropriate demands best met elsewhere. All public services have suffered as a result of spending cuts, but this report has rightly recognised the work that police officers need to do to keep their communities safe, and the work that needs to be met by other agencies and we all need the funding and sustained support to do that.

"There are mounting sustained pressures placed upon policing like never before, emerging from an absence of other more appropriate services and sustained Government cuts.

"We also recognise and know that the police system is currently under intense strain and that further sustained resources are needed if we are to deliver against the proposals within the review.

"PCCs will continue to work closely with colleagues from the Federation, staff associations, Home office, NPCC and more widely to secure the best possible outcome for policing from the forthcoming spending review.

"Policing is the 'last line' of defence and officers and staff can be faced with significant and traumatic situations on a daily basis. It is crucial that their wellbeing is protected so they can continue to lead fulfilling lives. That is one of the main reasons I supported the Protect the Protectors campaign and hold regular meetings with the Police Federation and staff associations and unions.

"And that is why at West Yorkshire Police and the OPCC we have programmes including a peer support network, line manager training in mental health, and an employee assistance programme where any WYP officer or staff member can call for support.

"It is our people: officers, staff, special constables, and volunteers, that ultimately keep our communities safe. It is only right that by regularly listening to the views of the front line that as Police and Crime Commissioners we do everything we can in conjunction with our Chief Constables and staff associations to ensure their health and wellbeing issues are addressed."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019