POLITICS
23/05/2018 00:02 BST | Updated 23/05/2018 14:24 BST

Home Secretary Sajid Javid To Tell Police 'I Get It' After Years Of Austerity

New minister to pledge he will give officers the 'tools, the powers and the back-up that you need to get the job done'.

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Newly-appointed Home Secretary Sajid Javidis looking to consign years of acrimony between the Police Federation and the Government to the past

Home Secretary Sajid Javid will tell police “I get it” as he faces the rank-and-file officers bearing the brunt of austerity. 

In his first major speech since taking the post, Javid will offer an olive branch to personnel at the Police Federation conference, following years of acrimony over funding cuts and staffing reductions.

Javid will pledge to provide “tools, the powers and the back-up that you need to get the job done” and point to the experiences of his brother, a senior police officer.

Addressing the annual conference in Birmingham, Javid will say: “For those of you who stand on the front line, be in no doubt that I will be standing with you.

“I’m not arrogant enough to turn up here after three weeks in the job and tell you how to do yours.

“What I will say is that I am listening and I get it. I get that there’s increased demand.”

Striking a softer tone than his two Tory predecessors when addressing the annual conference, Javid will cite accounts shared with him by frontline police personnel.

“You’ve told me you’re feeling stretched, overburdened and not sufficiently rewarded,” he will say. “I know it’s frustrating when your rest days get cancelled - often at short notice.

“And I know your work can take its toll on your mental and physical health. And you deserve to be respected and valued.”

He will discuss his experiences growing up in a road in Bristol once described as “Britain’s most dangerous street” and his conversations with his brother Bas Javid, a chief superintendent with West Midlands Police.

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Theresa May received an angry response when she spoke at the Police Federation Conference as Home Secretary 

“Over the years, I’ve heard what he has to say about policing,” the Cabinet minister will say.

“I know the tricky situations he’s been in. 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.”

Describing being taken out on a ride-along in the back of his brother’s police car in Bristol city centre, he will recall his shock at hearing the abusive language he was subjected to first hand, saying that as a result he understands “how hard and horrible it can be being a police officer”.

The federation’s annual conference has been the setting for a number of flashpoints, particularly during Theresa May’s time at the Home Office.

The Prime Minister was heckled and booed in 2012 after telling officers they should “stop pretending” police were being picked on.

Then in 2014 she shocked those gathered by laying down the law to the federation and hitting them with a raft of surprise reforms.

At last year’s conference, Javid’s predecessor Amber Rudd received a testy response over crime rates and funding.

As of September there were 121,929 officers across the 43 territorial forces in England and Wales - a fall of nearly 20,000 compared with a decade earlier.

The reduction has fallen under the spotlight after a deadly wave of violence hit London and national figures showed rises in knife and gun crime.

In his speech, PFEW chairman Calum Macleod will call on the Government to show support for emergency services workers and “agree that they are not society’s punch bags for those fuelled by drink and drugs, or trying to evade arrest”.

Louise Haigh, Labour’s shadow policing minister, said: “Rather than showing he’s listening, that he “gets it”, all Sajid Javid demonstrated was that the Tories are still in denial about the effect their cuts have had on public safety.

“He claims he wants police to have the resources they need, but offers nothing beyond platitudes and the same inadequate funding settlement.”