Home Secretary Sajid Javid comes across as understanding policing – but needs to convert his positive words into action, says Gloucestershire Police Federation Chair Sarah Johnson.

Sarah was sharing her views on Mr Javid following the first speech at the PFEW Annual Conference this week. Sarah said that Mr Javid left a completely different feeling to anyone else she’d ever heard at conference.

She said:

“The new Home Secretary came across as being very open to listening, very responsive to what people want and need. He seems to have the welfare of officers at the very heart of everything, and that was really refreshing.

“It’s something that I’ve not heard from a Home Secretary before and his speech left a completely different feeling to anybody else that I’ve heard speak at Conference. I’m hoping that his promising words will be transferred into actions.

“I believe he will, and I think some of that comes from his background.

“The fact that he’s got a brother who works in the police service [with West Midlands Police] and has clearly done so for a long time, he’s actually felt all the things that police officers do on a day to day basis, because it doesn’t stop at the door of the police station, it goes to the home and he’s actually felt that.

“I certainly think the Home Secretary has it in him to go back to Government and start challenging the decisions being made.

“Mr Javid’s response to the question around spit guards was very clear that he supports them, he doesn’t understand why there’s a question around them, and it was clearly a bit of a shock to him that they’re not on everybody’s vest or belt to actually carry as PPE alongside handcuffs and batons.

“By actually giving that very positive response on that issue, which has been quite controversial, I think he’s got the strength to start challenging decisions.”