Police Federation chair calls for officers to have vaccine priority

5 January 2021, 15:49

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Police Federation chair John Apter explains why he is calling for police officers to be put on the vaccine prioritisation list, as one in six officers are absent due to coronavirus.

The chair of the Police Federation has warned that there are concerns within the police unless officers are prioritised for Covid-vaccines then there is a risk to the service.

In an exclusive article for The Telegraph, John Apter, warned one in six police officers are now off work because of coronavirus, as he appealed for the service to be prioritised for the vaccine or risk it becoming “unsustainable”.

The policing representative has called for officers to be prioritised after society's most vulnerable groups and NHS workers have been given the jab.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari, Mr Apter explained very often police officers are unable to "mitigate the risk" while carrying out their day to day role.

He also told Nick he felt vaccinating police officers was about building in "resistance" meaning a normal level of service could go ahead.

The Police Federation chair has said officers should have vaccine priority
The Police Federation chair has said officers should have vaccine priority. Picture: PA

Earlier on Tuesday, Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation - which represents front line officers in London, revealed some 1,300 were off sick or self-isolating in the capital.

He urged the Government to place police officers on a priority list to receive coronavirus vaccines, saying requests to the Government so far were "falling on deaf ears".

His comments came as Government guidance released on Monday night warned that police could take action if people leave home without a "reasonable excuse" permitted under new lockdown rules.