Members are seeking our support much earlier - says health and safety lead

“We're not just here for conduct issues.”

That’s the message from health and safety lead Jonathan Rice to South Wales Police Federation members.

Jonathan said the Federation offered support for members across a range of issues, and not just discipline.

“The landscape has changed as to what people come to us with,” he said. “It’s not all about conduct and wrongdoing.

“The majority of our work is about people’s welfare and wellbeing and making sure that management look after them properly.”
He added: “There’s a lot more in terms of welfare, certainly around personal health issues, personal welfare issues and family matters.

“We’ve had people joining the Force in recent years and there’s an expectation we are family friendly more than we used to be.

Shift pattern

“You used to join the police years ago and you were given your shift pattern and get on with it.

“There’s more of an expectation of family friendliness and we do a lot more engagement around flexible working.

“We’re seeing more people with mental health issues than ever before. Officers are more willing to talk about them - they don’t hide them so much.

“ And there’s also more of a willingness to make representations in relation to management posting them a long way from home. Because of the cost of living and fuel, it’s costing them a lot of money to travel.


Health and safety lead Jonathan Rice.


Before they used to take it on the chin, now officers are more confident to get support from the Federation to challenge some of those bizarre decisions.”

Jonathan, who is in his 28th year with South Wales Police, became a Federation rep in 2021. Less than a year later he became the branch’s health and safety lead, and celebrates two years in the role in May.

And he said that since taking on the role, his cases have quadrupled.

Really encouraging

“It shows that officers are coming to us at an earlier stage to deal with issues,” he said.

“They will come to us far quicker with problems, rather than leaving things to fester as they may have in the past.

“For me, that’s really encouraging.

“People are seeing us as a critical point of contact, whereas previously they may have seen the Federation as an old boys’ club from which you get a diary every year.”

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