Tue, 02 Oct 2018
Sajid Javid’s intentions are admirable but what is needed is immediate action – that is the response of the Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales after the Home Secretary addressed the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.
PFEW Chair John Apter said: “When it came to Mr Javid’s speech I had a distinct feeling of déjà vu. We heard again about his plans to tackle serious violent crime, about funds to divert young people away from a life of crime and about him wanting to combat the illegal drugs trade. But this is nothing new.”
Addressing the party faithful the Home Secretary announced:
· A consultation on plans to ensure public sector workers in health, education, social services, local government and housing services make tackling the root causes of serious violence a top priority;
· A £200m youth endowment fund is being set up that will focus on violent crime hotspots;
· And a package of measures to tackle forced marriage, including proposals to refuse spousal entry to the UK where there is evidence a marriage is forced.
He also detailed his intention to strip dual nationals of their UK citizenship if they are involved in gangs that sexually exploit children.
And he pledged tougher measures to crack down on forced marriage, including refusing entry to immigrants 'where there is evidence that the marriage is forced'.
The speech follows the launch in April of the Home Office’s Serious Violence Strategy, and the Policing Minister’s announcement of plans to increase stop and search powers for people suspected of carrying corrosive substances which was made a few weeks ago.
Mr Apter, who was in Birmingham, continued: “Mr Javid’s speech was all very admirable in its intent. But my question is what about those who will be enforcing these new laws? What about the officers who will be investigating the crimes that the Government is aiming to combat?
“There are not enough police officers to cover the demand we already have, many of my members are at or beyond breaking point and the public are increasingly being provided with a sub-standard service. This cannot go on. Policing needs immediate investment,” he said.
“We commend the Home Secretary’s aim of addressing the issues our communities are facing but we need the warm words about respect for the police to be translated into action.
“The Home Secretary said today that he will always support policing. We now need him to show us that he does. He said today he will give us the tools and protection we need to our job. We now need him to make good on that.
“We need action and we need it now. Without tangible and meaningful support policing and the public will continue to suffer,” he concluded.
© 2018 Police Federation of England & Wales