On the 8th December Team Police held its second webinar in a series to start the conversation about the importance of sport and physical activity for all who serve or have served in our Police service. On our panel was Lee Freeman Chief Constable of Humberside and Andy Rhodes Chief Constable of Lancashire, together with Stuart Parker a Detective Constable from West Midlands Police. Stuart spoke powerfully of his own experience of battling mental health and how sport has played an important part in helping him. His message was clear, that it is good to talk and OK to be not OK. Also on the panel was Ian Williams from Motorola Solutions – our key sponsor for the webinar.
This webinar focused on The Police Covenant and how it might help enhance wellbeing and health for the wider policing family; both serving and retired and their families.
Both Lee and Andy gave powerful insight on how the Covenant will make a difference. Andy spoke about the covenant giving, “credence to the whole agenda about improving the wellbeing of our staff.” and that it “Enshrines in law this commitment that we need to do more for our people around wellbeing”. He stated, “So many people in this job have never talked openly about their mental health so we’ve never made the links between sport and mental health. So, in austerity everyone cuts police sport, time off, facilities.”
When asked how we can address scepticism in the service about the covenant. Lee responded “I think we should embrace scepticism. People are justified to be sceptical. it is actions not words that should be persuading people whether or not the service, and indeed the wider government is serious about making sure this covenant makes a difference.”
Lee went onto talk about the number one responsibility for anyone in leadership at any level in the service to take care of their staff and that there was a moral and ethical reason why you would want to do that. It is very evident that leadership and culture are critical in bringing change to how we care for each other
He went onto to say – “You cannot deliver a highly effective policing service to protect the public unless everyone in your organisation feels valued, supported, listened to, and create an organisational culture of which sport is part of what you are trying to create, a safe place where members of the policing family can come to work and feel they can talk and be themselves.”
The question of different approaches and inconsistency in investment in wellbeing and health across the forces was also mentioned. Andy argued that what the covenant potentially offered is to put wellbeing and health on a statutory footing to give a much more consistent approach across the country to people’s physical, mental and financial wellbeing.
The Police Covenant presents a real opportunity to ensure health and wellbeing are accepted as core business to any organisation and not a subject that is merely a reference point, but one that is tangible and demonstrates real change.
Lee concluded by stating “There’s a massive opportunity around the police covenant for sport, I think sport has a key role to play as we move forward. And I think we need to take advantage of the opportunity that the police covenant brings and seize it with both hands.”
We at Team Police and our sponsor partners would agree with that, and will continue to promote and support sport in policing. We look forward to revisiting the covenant later this year to discuss how it is helping change for us all.
Why not join us at our next webinar on 23rd February 2021 when we will be debating – ‘Sport for all. How can we better promote physical activity for everyone in the Policing family?’
I think we should embrace scepticism. People are justified to be sceptical. it is actions not words that should be persuading people whether or not the service, and indeed the wider government is serious about making sure this covenant makes a difference.
WEBINAR STARTS IN:
23 FEBRUARY 2021
‘Sport for all. How can we better promote physical activity for everyone in the Policing family?’
ASK THE PANEL
If you cannot attend the next webinar and have a burning question, then send it to us to ask on your behalf.
‘Will the Police Covenant help increase the opportunity for sport in the police?’
The full video of the webinar is above – however if you want to jump to the start of sections, the time stamps are below:
- Motorola Solutions, Ian Williams – 01:20
- Speaker, DC Stuart Parker – 08:00
- Panel speakers: Lee Freeman, Chief Constable Humberside & Andy Rhodes, Chief Constable Lancashire – 24:08
- Question & Answers – 39:55