BEDFORDSHIRE Police Federation would like to wish all of our members and their families a very happy Christmas.

I am very proud to have been given the opportunity to represent and support you , my colleagues since taking over as your Chairman in March 2020. The support I have had from all of you and from the Federation office and workplace reps has been second to none and greatly appreciated.

This year has been something entirely different and hopefully it will be a once in a lifetime event. A we rapidly approach the end of the year, we usually look back and reflect on the highs and lows of the past 12 months, I am not sure we want to.

As your Chairman I want to personally thank you all for your hard work and dedication this year, putting yourself at risk to protect others. Call volumes and workloads have shown no sign of abating in Bedfordshire. You have dealt with what can only be described as non covid demand, whilst facing ever changing Covid -19 regulations and a Government that continues to send out mixed messages to the public.

Time and time again you have met all of these challenges policing brings and kept our communities safe. Policing has faced some unfair criticism” this year from the public and the media, and had not always received the support they deserved from the Government.

It’s only right that the NHS has been thanked by everyone for their involvement in this pandemic, but I’m disappointed with the lack of recognition for all of your hard work and that of your colleagues across the country who Police our streets.

I don’t know the reasons why the Police are not feted like other 999 services, maybe it’s because we help with one hand but spoil the fun for the minority who won’t follow the Covid-19 rules and regulations.

What I do ask all of you to do is ensure that you use the PPE available and protect yourselves and your families from this virus and keep safe. Having been unlucky enough to have contracted the virus at the end of November 2020, I can confirm that it is out there and doesn’t care who it infects. Take care.

Behind the scenes we have continued to ensure that officers are provided with the best protection while doing their job and that when things do go wrong, in the risky role we perform, that they are treated fairly and appropriately – ensuring legal advice is available where appropriate – this is our core business and something we will always do no matter what else is going on.

We have continued to push for better welfare provisions for both officers and staff and in the New Year Emma Carter, our General Secretary will be able to officially launch the rebranded welfare fund that she has worked tirelessly on. Support in the form of advice, signposting and grants/loans have has been given to those officers struggling with money worries and debt.

All of this coupled with supporting the large number of student officers who have joined our ranks, ensuring that the 90 days for shift changes is adhered to, that officer who are assaulted are looked after using the 9 point plan and everything else that local federations do up and down the country.

Whilst many officers will be celebrating Christmas at home with families, let’s spare a thought for our colleagues and families who are working Christmas and the New Year to keep us safe.

We hope you keep safe over the holidays, however should you require the assistance of the Police Federation over the festive or New Year season, please contact us. We’ll have representatives available and on call over the period as we do throughout the year.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Stephen Bozward
Bedfordshire Police Federation

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