HAMPSHIRE Police Federation is still representing and supporting members and providing the service its officers expect, even during the coronavirus pandemic.
Chairman Alex Charge said that despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Federation was “in a good position”. This is partly because of last year’s cyber attack, which brought down IT systems, but prepared the Federation for coping in a crisis and meant it was used to communicating via Microsoft Teams.
Alex said: “We’ve been representing officers and supporting them through misconduct, gross misconduct and other issues. The Federation is still providing the same service as usual. We’re doing things slightly differently; some of it is via video conferencing or audio conferencing, and some is by going with the officers but still conforming with social distancing.”
The Federation is also working closely with the force, Alex said: “We’re still massively engaged with the force with Operation Mix, which is their response to Covid-19. That’s including all sorts of things like annual leave and risk assessments.”
One of the Federation’s top priorities has been to work with the force to ensure the correct PPE is on hand, and that it is fit for purpose. It is liaising with PFEW and Public Health England to make sure sufficient kit is available and that it has been rigorously tested.
Alex said: “We’re also sharing best practice and getting ideas from different forces, such as the Covid Cars [cars containing specialist equipment that can be deployed to incidents involving potentially infected people].”
Alex added that the Federation was keen to support members who were self-isolating, and that officers had been sent packs to help them manage their stress and wellbeing while at home.