In a week where we saw real horror in the West Midlands and the immense professionalism of staff a reminder of our oath and my advice to recruits who joined us this week.
Declaration for Office of Constable
I…..of the West Midlands Police do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will well and truly serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people; and that I will, to the best of my power, cause the peace to be kept and preserved and prevent all offences against people and property; and that while I continue to hold the said office I will, to the best of my skill and knowledge, discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law.
New constables of the West Midlands,
May I offer the congratulations of our force, those assembled here tonight and my own as you join our ranks.
Those ninety nine words you have just said are some of the most profound you will speak. Tonight you undertook to swap a life where you were at the centre for one of service to the public. You have sworn an oath to never let your private interests divert you from the fundamental task set out on the inscription of the Queen’s Police Medal by our sovereign to “Protect my People”
You surrendered many of the opportunities of ordinary citizens. You can never walk by when people face harm on or off duty. Your friends and family have new expectations of you as someone who sworn a solemn oath to uphold the law and to do what is right. You remain a civilian and member of your community but by wearing the badge of the crown you have set yourself aside from others to carry heavier obligations.
Your Queen and her people have tonight invested huge power in you. To remove liberty, to search and indeed even to take life if necessary. In the coming weeks you will exercise these powers. Never be complacent about them. Never wield them in rage or because of dislike. Always remember how precious they are and that their wise and considered use sits at the heart of the bond between the police and the public. You are not a servant of the state. Our police stand independent from politics as set out in our founding in 1829. Your ability to uphold the law depends on the confidence of those you serve.
Expect to be tested. You will see the absolute worst of humanity and a cruelty to others that will break your heart. So make sure you are seen as the best of people in this role. You will be the rescuers of many at their darkest times. Don’t judge those you serve. So many of them lack the opportunity you have had. Your friendship and service to those in need is unconditional. Never become jaded or think the public are not behind you. The British Public, are in their character reserved and silent in their quiet support. Saving thanks for the big moments but always knowing you stand between them and the dark.
Be courageous. You will face physical challenges. They are often easier to face that the moral dilemmas you will juggle. Always remember you joined to do the right things for the public and act in a way that would make your family and friends proud.
Do make mistakes. If you never get anything wrong in life it’s because you didn’t do anything. Make decisions and act, but if things do go wrong admit them and tell us.
Never forget the heritage and history of our profession. As you spend time here in your training school look hard at the golden letters on the remembrance board of those who never returned home from their shift. Honour this uniform every day in their memory remembering the sacrifice they made wearing it.
Finally, enjoy every moment of this wonderful job. A job like no other that takes you into the lives of strangers, let’s you see people and communities you barely know about today. That brings friendship unsurpassed in other jobs. Huge excitement and an incredible sense that every day you make a difference.
I welcome you all.”