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Alison Hernandez welcomes Front Line Review

Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez has welcomed a Government review which, for the first time, puts wellbeing and mental health of staff and officers at the heart of policing.

The Front Line Review has seen the Home Office engage directly with officers and staff for more than a year and has today published everything it has heard from the front line, alongside a package of new support measures.

This includes plans to work with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) to embed wellbeing into the culture of policing through inspecting forces.

Key to the review is new guidance empowering police to push back against responding to inappropriate requests for attendance, often health or welfare related, and where the police have neither the right skills or powers to respond.

 This is designed to make a difference for vulnerable people, giving them the right support from the right agencies, while also freeing up time for the police to focus on tackling crime.

“Nick Hurd as Policing Minister has always been a good listener. It’s great that the voice of the frontline is being heard by a government minister and utilised to inform policy making at a national level,” said Ms Hernandez.

“There are no surprises in the report. The biggest issue is that there are not enough officers or staff on the frontline.

“So often when vulnerable people are at the end of their tether and suffering terrible stress it falls to police officers to provide support and find solutions.

“Ironically, while providing this service of last resort, it places those officers under unnecessary stress and puts the police service as a whole under strain.

“This cannot be right so I welcome that this review has recognised the need for other agencies to play their part.

“The key will now be to ensure that when the police do ‘push back against responding to inappropriate requests’ the most appropriate agency is in a position to and has the ability to respond.

“It is now vital that all agencies come together and find solutions which provide the most appropriate response for some of the most vulnerable in our communities.

“I look forward to considering the details of the report and hearing from the chief constable about local practical opportunities to better help the frontline in areas that affect us.”