John – the brother of Steve Apter, the former Chief Fire Officer for the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service – has been a Police officer for the past 26 years. Over the last 8 years he has been the Chair of the Hampshire Police Federation, acting as a voice for officers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
From tomorrow (1st August), John will begin his new national role as the Chairman of the Police Federation for England and Wales. It follows a successful election campaign in which, for the first time, Police officers up and down the country were given the opportunity to vote.
Speaking about his appointment John has said:
“It is an incredible privilege to be named Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales – the first ever to be elected by officers up and down the country.
“Those officers I represent have given me a mandate to fight for them – and that fightback starts here.
“For far too long police officers have been taken advantage of. Pay and conditions, “reform” of the service, huge budget cuts and outrageous slurs and media soundbites… The Government has been kicking us for years. There comes a point where we must bite back, that time has come.
“Whilst we must have a relationship with the Home Office, Chief Officers and the College of Policing, I do not want to be their friend. I will hold them to account to make sure they act in your best interests”.
‘I have a long list of priorities. At the top of the list will always be pay and conditions. Following the contemptible and disgraceful actions of the Government this year over our pay award – and let’s be frank, over the past 7 or 8 years – we have some significant decisions to make. The disdain and contempt shown to police officers in England and Wales must end.
“Officer safety is also key. I will be pushing Government to centrally fund Taser and I will also be putting my full support to getting better protection for police drivers. The legal vulnerability they face for doing what they are trained to do is unacceptable and must end.
“I also want to start the debate on Employment Rights for police officers. It’s important we have a grown up and balanced discussion about what this means – and is it something our members want?
“Other areas I want to focus on include Special Constables joining the Federation, the ongoing wellbeing of colleagues and reviewing the “free half hour for the Queen”.
“I will be making myself as visible as possible, both to members across England and Wales and to local Federations. I want to make sure the PFEW gives local Boards whatever support they need to give the best service they can. Local Boards are the credibility of the organisation: they need more support and I will make sure they get it.
“I am also aware that the National Federation needs to regain the confidence of our members. And I intend to be driving that from the centre with tangible actions and not just words.
“So, it will be a busy few months and years ahead. Every day is important, and I am determined to make a difference”.