I have called for the two men vying to be the next Prime Minister to commit to giving Nottinghamshire Police officers a guarantee in law that they will be looked after both in and out of the job – in the same way as Armed Forces personnel are supported.
Officers put their lives on the line each day to protect the public and they should be recognised.
I've signed an open letter to both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt urging them to commit to a Police Covenant, which would recognise the risks officers take, guarantee inflation-proof pay rises each year and set out how they will be supported.
Along with more than 20 other MPs, I've added my name to a letter written by Esther McVey, which sets out the demands. We believe committing to a Covenant would recognise the challenges officers face and the support needed at different stages of their career, and would also offer guaranteed support to those who have suffered physical or mental injuries as part of their job.
We're all part of Blue Collar Conservatism, a group of more than 100 MPs which aims to start a national conversation with regular voters asking what they want to see government deliver. As part of its programme to reach out to voters ten national road shows are being hosted across the country and the public are being asked for their opinion. An event was held in Mansfield last month.
This week the cause was backed by the National chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales John Apter who said the Covenant was “an important step” towards achieving “further guarantees and protections for our dedicated officers”.
The move would promise police officers the same level of support and recognition already guaranteed to military personnel in the Armed Forces Covenant. Support for the Police Covenant comes as Channel 4 Dispatches aired a programme on Monday about the difficulties faced by officers, including rising numbers of assaults while on duty.
The police have been asked to do more with less and while the police continue to deliver outstanding service, it is time to show them we are on their side.
Both Boris and Jeremy have spoken about the need to increase resources but I do not want to see them pay lip service to our officers, I want action.
Since 2010 we had to make difficult decisions to rebalance the books and tackle the economic mess left by Labour, which resulted in around 30 per cent cuts in Central Government funding to police. Since then, police numbers have fallen and we need action to make up the shortfall so that we see more Police officers in Mansfield and Warsop.