Policing is a unique, rewarding, though challenging job, and the covenant focuses on the health, wellbeing and physical protection of officers and staff, whether in a paid or voluntary capacity, as well as support for their families.
The National Police Wellbeing Service will deliver many of the products and services that result from the Covenant.
Andy Rhodes, Service Director for the National Police Wellbeing Service, said:
“I passionately believe in the Police Covenant and I am delighted to see it become law and now receive this support from Chief Constables.
“On a daily basis officers and staff display outstanding bravery and the Covenant will build on improvements we are making in the support we offer them and their loved ones. It is already having an impact in areas like mental health care, occupational health standards and the recruitment of a Chief Medical Officer for policing.
“The Covenant will build on the energy and ambition of everyone in the National Police Wellbeing Service to provide real change in how we support our staff, their families and those who retire or move on from the service.”
The Covenant will continue to develop over time, however initial elements will include: pre-deployment mental health training embedded in the Police Federation Qualifications Framework (PEQF), training for GPs on police PTSD care and formation of a Police Medical Group. In the coming months announcements will be made about further measures and support that will be made available.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair, Martin Hewitt said:
"Chief Constables have today pledged their support to the principles set out in the Police Covenant, which will ensure those in policing and their families receive the protection and support they deserve.
"The Covenant is already starting to deliver on improving the physical protection and welfare of our police officers and staff who work so hard to keep us safe. We will now also be looking at the needs of families and leavers and will be listening to their voices as part of this work.
"It is poignant that today the annual police bravery awards take place where we see first-hand the incredible dedication and courage of our finest people. The Covenant will strive to recognise the contribution of everyone who works in policing and provide them with a voice to influence the type of support they need now and into the future."
College of Policing CEO, Chief Constable Andy Marsh said:
“The Police Covenant is welcome formal recognition of the vitally important role those in policing fulfil to help make our communities safer. On a daily basis police officers and staff are exposed to distressing events which we know has a considerable effect on their mental health and wellbeing.
“I’m proud the College of Policing’s National Police Wellbeing Service, Oscar Kilo, will deliver many of the products offered through the Police Covenant.
“Policing is a challenging but immensely rewarding career and we must look after our people so they are best able to look after the public. The products and services we’ll offer will be tangible, evidence-based and proven to improve the physical and mental health of those working in policing.
“Oscar Kilo and the National Police Wellbeing Service already provides significant resources for officers and staff and we will continue to identify the best ways for the College to support those working to keep our communities safe every day.”
For more details on the Covenant, please see here: Police Covenant - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)