Following the announcement by the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) this morning, we as Chief Constables across Wales are incredibly disappointed with their decision.
Whilst we have recognised and supported the decisions to vaccinate those in high risk categories, we have repeatedly asked that Policing be risk assessed so our officers and staff can be given due consideration, given the risks they take daily on behalf of us all.
Police officers by the nature of their role have to go into different settings and come into contact with all high risk groups along with also being unable to social distance and on many occasions cannot maintain PPE as designed, given the physical role they have to undertake.
In addition they are being tasked with enforcing isolation and quarantine arrangements on the government’s behalf on those they know have the virus.
We believe that now the most vulnerable have been vaccinated we should seek to vaccinate those that risk their own safety and health, not through choice but through necessity to keep us all safe.
We recognise the challenge of identifying those in a specific employment, but within policing this information can be made readily available and we are happy to supply this information.
Protecting the protectors we believe is key if we are to maintain the trust of front line officers who are daily going above and beyond.
As such we would ask that this decision is reconsidered in recognition of the unique role of policing, additionally we will continue to work, in Wales, with the Welsh Government in relation to this matter.