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Chief Bakes

BBC: Sajid Javid pledges more funding for overstretched police

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Sajid Javid pledges more funding for overstretched police

  • 23 May 2018
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Sajid Javid outside the Home Office Image copyright Reuters

Sajid Javid has promised to ensure police officers have the resources they need to meet the challenges they face.

The home secretary, whose brother is a chief superintendent in West Midlands, pledged in his first speech to the Police Federation to provide the "tools and powers" frontline officers need.

"I've seen the impact the job has had on family life", he said.

His predecessors have often been criticised by the federation for cutting police budgets.

Mr Javid promised to prioritise police funding during the next Home Office spending review.

He said £1bn more was already being invested in policing compared to three years ago.

But he acknowledged police forces were under pressure as violent crime increased and the terror threat evolved.

"I'm listening and I get it," he insisted.

He leant his support to stop and search powers, saying: "Some of you don't feel comfortable using it - and that's not how it should be.

"I have confidence in your professional judgment. So let me be clear - I support the use of stop and search.

"You have to do your job and that means protecting everyone."

He made a particular commitment to roll out protective equipment to tackle the assault of police officers - including controversial spit and bite guards.

Mr Javid became home secretary in April, after Amber Rudd resigned her position amid the Windrush revelations.

The federation, which represents rank and file officers across England and Wales, has previously shown home secretaries a frosty reception.

As of September there were 121,929 officers across the 43 forces, a fall of nearly 20,000 people compared to 10 years ago.

Police cuts have come under scrutiny after figures have shown an increase in knife and gun crime..

In London 52 people were killed in the first 100 days of 2018, which raised serious concerns about a rise in violent crime.

Mr Javid insisted that he is "absolutely determined" to end the violence that is "terminating young lives far too soon".

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionIn 2015 Theresa May told officers to stop "crying wolf"

Referring to his brother, Mr Javid added: "He's been hurt more times than I want to know from being assaulted on duty.

"I've seen the impact the job has on family life. And, as you would expect from a brother, he doesn't shield me from the truth."

He said he wanted to bolster the welfare provision, saying "we need to protect the protectors".

He concluded: "For those of you who stand in the front line, be in no doubt that I will be standing with you."

The BBC's home affairs correspondent, Danny Shaw, says Mr Javid's speech took a different tone to those of previous home secretaries.

Mr Javid said he wanted to "reset the relationship between government and the police".

He made much of his relationship with his brother to emphasise a new level of understanding in the Home Office.

He said that while he knows "you might be thinking 'you're not one of us', as no home secretary has ever served has a police officer", he said he was the first home secretary "with a police officer in my immediate family".

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