We are fortunate to have hard-working police officers keeping our streets safe, something I was able to see first-hand recently when I joined patrol officers on the frontline.
This was part of a national campaign by the National Police Chiefs' Council to get more politicians to understand the challenges of being a frontline police officer. Whether that’s responding to accidents on the road, domestic problems or stopping violent attacks, our dedicated team of officers are covering the Havant constituency every day.
That’s why it is important to keep giving those officers the resources and powers they need to protect people, homes and businesses. Since I was first elected, I’ve been campaigning for more money for our local police and I was delighted that the Government has promised an extra £750million to recruit 20,000 new police officers on our streets. This should mean around 450 more officers for Hampshire Police.
The planned increase in officers is just one part of a widespread package of investment to prevent crime and make our communities safer for everyone. Measures include new knife crime prevention orders, which will give the police an additional power to help steer vulnerable people away from serious violence, 10,000 new prison places and an Offensive Weapons Act – paving the way for new criminal offences that will help to tackle knife crime.
Yet as was tragically highlighted by the death of PC Andrew Harper in the summer, and from the bravery I’ve witnessed from our officers on the frontline, we can do more to recognise the sacrifices officers make in the line of duty. That’s why I am backing new protections for our brave policemen and women that have been announced by the Home Secretary.
The Police Covenant, equivalent to the similar long-standing Military Covenant, will focus on health and wellbeing, and support for the families of those injured or killed while serving.
My day on the frontline with our officers was insightful and inspiring. I’m going to continue working hard in Westminster to give our police the funding and resources they need to keep us and our families safe.