Mansfield MP calls on Conservative leadership candidates to 'protect our police'

Mansfield's MP Ben Bradley has called on the two Conservative leadership candidates to commit to a "police covenant" aimed at supporting Nottinghamshire Police officers.

With just weeks to go until a new Conservative leader and Prime Minister is elected, Mr Bradley has signed a letter calling on both Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson to protect police officers both in and out of the job.

Ben Bradley, Mansfield MP, with Mansfield's district commander Nick Butler last year.

Ben Bradley, Mansfield MP, with Mansfield's district commander Nick Butler last year.

The letter, which was signed by more than 20 Conservative MPs, urges the candidates to recognise the risks officers take, guarantee inflation-proof pay rises each year and set out how they will be supported long-term.

The MPs believe committing to a covenant would "recognise the challenges officers face" and offer the support needed at different stages of their careers.

It would also offer "guaranteed support" to those who have suffered physical or mental injuries.

Mr Bradley said: “The police have been asked to do more with less and while the police continue to deliver outstanding service, it is time to show them we are on their side.

"Both Boris and Jeremy have spoken about the need to increase resources but I do not want to see them pay lip service to our officers, I want action.

"Since 2010 we had to make difficult decisions to rebalance the books and tackle the economic mess left by Labour, which resulted in about 30 per cent cuts in Central Government funding to police.

"Since then, police numbers have fallen and we need action to make up the shortfall so that we see more police officers in Mansfield and Warsop.”

This week the cause was backed by the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, John Apter, who said the covenant was “an important step” towards achieving “further guarantees and protections for our dedicated officers”.

He said: "I welcome this support and would add my voice to seek a commitment from both prime minister candidates to support a policing covenant.

"Our members face unprecedented times with fewer police numbers, increased demand including rising violent crime, and reduced capacity to deal with those crimes.

"This has exacted a huge toll on officer welfare. It’s time to seek further guarantees and protections for our dedicated officers and we see a Police Covenant as an important step in achieving this.”