SAJID JAVID will today tell police he understands the pressures they face, saying: ‘I get it.’
The new home secretary will seek to mend fences in his first speech to the Police Federation, which booed Theresa May when she held his job.
He will tell officers he knows they feel ‘stretched, overburdened and not sufficiently rewarded’. And he will refer to his brother Bas, a chief superintendent with West Midlands Police, being assaulted while on duty.
‘I’m not arrogant enough to turn up here after three weeks in the job and tell you how to do yours,’ Mr Javid is expected to say.
‘What I will say is that I am listening and I get it.’ Mr Javid will address the conference of the federation — the staff association for officers — after a surge in violence that it has linked to a lack of funding and falling police numbers.
Knife crime has gone up 22 per cent in 12 months and there have been more than 60 murders this year in London.
Mrs May angered delegates at the conference in 2012 when she said other public services had also had to deal with cuts, adding: ‘Stop pretending you’re being picked on.’
But Mr Javid will play good cop to her bad cop by vowing to officers: ‘I will be standing with you.
‘I know it’s frustrating when your rest days get cancelled — often at short notice,’ he will say.
‘And I know your work can take its toll on your mental and physical health. And you deserve to be respected and valued.’
Discussing his memories of growing up on a road in Bristol once dubbed the most dangerous in Britain, he will say he understands being a police officer can be ‘hard and horrible’. And referring to his brother, he will say: ‘Over the years, I’ve heard what he has to say about policing.
‘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.’