The police service has been “slapped in the face” by being denied a level of priority for the Covid-19 vaccine, the Metropolitan Police Federation has said.
Chairman Ken Marsh was talking after it emerged that the police would not be afforded vaccine earlier by the Government, despite months of campaigning and support from senior officers and MPs.
Ken said: “That shows you how this Government feels about police officers. They just don’t hold us in high enough esteem to treat us as we deserve.”
Ken speaking on Times Radio last night (9 February), said he was struggling to find the words to explain how let down officers felt across the country.
He said: “Afford police officers the protection they deserve because you are asking them to do something unique to anyone else. We have to touch people unprotected and we do that on the crown.”
Mr Marsh added his name to an open letter from 43 Federation Branch Board across the country, which called for the Government to rethink the decision.
It read: “Police officers feel betrayed by the lack of action from the Governments of England and Wales to protect them from exposure to this deadly virus.
“The level of incidents of people weaponising the virus – by coughing or spitting at them – has increased considerably during the pandemic. On behalf of Government, police officers are putting their lives on the line every day and run a very real risk of becoming infected and exposing colleagues, family members as well as the public.”
The letter added: “Police officers have done everything asked of them, now it is time for Government to step up and protect those who have been on the frontline throughout this pandemic. Anything less would be a deep betrayal and will not be forgiven or forgotten.”