Belfast Telegraph

'We are mothers, fathers, you': Police Federation launch hard-hitting campaign showing human side of policing

By Claire Williamson

They are normal people doing a job like no other - that's the message behind a series of hard-hitting videos by the Police Federation (PFNI) to show the human side of policing.

The videos are part of the 'We Are You' campaign which aims to show that police officers are "the same as the rest of us".

The PFNI represents the rank and file of the PSNI from constable to chief inspector.

The mini-movies depict different challenges faced by officers which form the basis of the campaign.

It says: "Officers are attacked, insulted, threatened and criticised. Behind the uniform, they are the same as the rest of us. They have mortgages, bills, family pressures.

"Good days, bad days. They may wear a uniform, but they are you."

The short videos mirror the lives of a mother, father and grand-daughter as it shows them putting their lives on the line and the horrors that they encounter alongside their personal life and the impact their job has.

In one video called 'We Are Mothers' it showcases a police officer working at a security alert. It begins with her saying goodbye to her son as she sets off for work.

It shows her working at the alert and cuts to her young son playing at home. When suddenly it jumps back to her at the alert where she dashes to save another child from an incendiary device.

It ends with a ominous knock at the door.

In another it shows a father who is playing hide and seek at home with his daughter and it then cuts to him in uniform searching a house where he is traumatised to find the body of a young child.

PFNI Chairman, Mark Lindsay, said for too long, Officers were seen as separate from the community but out of uniform, they faced the same pressures as everyone else.

Mr Lindsay said: “Our men and women are wives, husbands, parents, brothers, sisters and all of them have to grapple with daily challenges that are exactly the same as those confronted by their extended families and friends.

“They have to worry about mortgages, schools, debt, everyday bills, in short, balancing the books.

“More than that, they have to worry about their safety and the security of their families in a climate where the terrorist threat level is rated ‘severe’.

“In a very real sense, Officers are no different from their neighbours, but with the added pressure of the job. They endure attacks on the frontline. They’re constantly under the microscope. They’re public servants who answer the call, often at great risk to themselves.

“They deserve to be better understood. We’re not asking for adulation, just a bit of latitude that we are human beings doing a trying and challenging job for our entire community."

Speaking at the launch of the campaign Justice Minister David Ford said: "The job officers do is like no other and they deserve the understanding and support of the wider community."

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