New Home Secretary
The newly appointed Home Secretary must act quickly to halt the crisis in policing, says Andrea Breeze, chair of Cleveland Police Federation.
Sajid Javid was named as successor to Amber Rudd yesterday. Ms Rudd resigned late on Sunday in the fall-out from the Windrush generation scandal.
"We congratulate Mr Javid on his appointment and welcome him to his new role," says Andrea, "However, he is going to have to quickly get on top of a number of pressing issues currently sitting with the Home Office.
"Of course, we would expect him to act with some urgency to ensure that those so terribly affected by the Windrush situation are treated fairly. But there are many other matters that he needs to tackle too. He also has to oversee the implementation of immigration policies in a post-Brexit world.
"In terms of policing, he will have to make decisions around counter-terrorism operations and also respond to the growing problem of knife crime as well as our own concerns about the way in which cuts to police budgets have adversely affected our ability to protect our communities and also maintain officer health and wellbeing.
"Policing is currently in crisis as we try to do more with less against a backdrop of increased demand, low morale and a rising tide of stressed out officers.
"Mr Javid is definitely going to have a busy few months as he gets up to speed on all the pressing issues currently facing the Home Office. But he will not have time to sit back, listen and learn. He is going to have to act quickly but he is going to have to make sure he gets it right when he does act."
In just three weeks, the Police Federation will be holding its annual national conference in Birmingham. The Home Secretary is invited to address conference each year and previous post-holders have always taken up this invitation.
"I hope Mr Javid does attend. It will give him a chance to hear about the concerns of officers first-hand. Of course, he may not be able to give us many answers and I am sure, as a politician, he will be able to avoid anything too tricky by saying he is new in post but nevertheless I think attending conference could send out the message to demoralised officers that someone is at least willing to listen to what they have to say," says Andrea.