Today is the annual conference of the Police Superintendents Association – and Home Secretary Priti Patel has just made her key note speech. I won’t reproduce it all, but the key points relate to the “Police Covenant” that she has been discussing and formulating of late.
Mrs Patel said “We want a better deal for police and a worse deal for criminals. We want to cut crime and lawlessness.” And she went on to urge the Sentencing Council to look at punishments for those who attack officers as she says the ‘epidemic of attacks demands urgent action’.
“We simply must do more to help those on the front line, and the friends and family behind you.
“The time has come to empower you with the support and protection you so desperately deserve’, she will tell superintendents.
“I’m making the physical protection of officers my top priority. That means giving you the kit you need to stay safe. But protecting officers is not just about equipment.
“The utterly appalling rise in attacks shows that. We need a strong deterrent to make these thugs think twice.
“The Police Covenant is a pledge to do more as a nation to help those who serve our country.
“To ensure our pride in the police pays off in practice. To recognise the bravery, commitment, and sacrifices of serving and former officers.
“Police officers can only protect us if we protect them, so following our commitment to hire 20,000 new police officers to keep our streets safe, it is only right that we give them the powers and protections they need and deserve.”
You can’t argue with that. I will be returning to this subject in future posts, but for now I am please to see that our Conservative Home Secretary is grasping this particular nettle with such alacrity.