On Tuesday 22nd May, Oscar Kilo took part in the ‘Protecting our Service’ session on the main stage at the Annual Police Federation Conference at the ICC in Birmingham.

OK Programme Manager, Rob Flanagan sat on a panel with PFEW Vice Chair Che Donald, Sir Tom Winsor of HMICFRS, Workforce lead for the APCC, Durham PCC Ron Hogg , and former Chief Supt in The Metropolitan Police, John Sutherland talking about the challenges of demand and capacity.

The discussion was led by Che Donald who drew on the results from the Federation’s 2016 Demand, Capacity and Welfare Survey – which said that 80% of police said they suffered from stress, low mood and anxiety. Sixty six per cent  said their workload was too high; they were 11 times more likely to have poor mental health, seven times more likely to suffer from poor morale and three times more liked to be fatigued.

He talked about the special steering group that has been set up as a result of the findings of the survey. The group is made up of senior policing stakeholders to tackle the problem. The Home Office, National Police Chiefs Council, College of Policing, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.

Sir Thomas Winsor followed Mr Donald by introducing the audience to Force Management Systems which he believes will force Chief Constables to be honest about their demand, capacity and welfare issues. He also referenced the work of Chief Constable Andy Rhodes and Oscar Kilo and the Blue Light Wellbeing Framework saying that it is “vital that forces have adequate systems for assessing these things and for giving people the support they need. This matters not only in human terms for the officers in question, but it also matters on a more systemic level – it matters to the efficiency and effectiveness of the police force which should be of concern to all of us. If a police forces’ most important asset, it’s people, are under undue strain, whether in terms of workload or in the nature of the work they do, and the effects that that work has on them, then the ability of the force to serve the public is itself compromised.”

On day two of the conference, a keynote speech was made by the new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid who despite only having been appointed as Home Secretary three weeks ago, took the invitation to take the stage to address delegates telling them he understands the issues facing police officers saying he is “listening and gets it” and promising to “prioritise police spending”.

You can find further breakdowns of each of the sessions on the Police Federation website

The session starts at 1:24 into the video.