THE new leaders of the North Yorkshire Police Federation have spoken of their hopes for the organisation.

Sergeant Mike Stubbs recently succeeded Mark Botham as chairman of the Federation, following the latter’s retirement, and Sergeant Dave Horn has taken up the role of secretary.

Both men have previously served in York in their time with the force, and said the roles came at a difficult time for the organisation, while officers had to deal with experiences unlike any other profession.

Sgt Stubbs said: “Dave and I both feel honoured to have been chosen to take on these roles at what is very challenging time for policing. Our focus will be on ensuring that we work in the best interests of our members.

“Police officers have a very difficult role to perform and can be particularly vulnerable to malicious complaints and false allegations. They have to make instant decisions in extremely demanding situations without the benefit of hindsight. Those decisions can subsequently be subject to almost interminable scrutiny as to what they could, should or might have done.

“Being under investigation for months or years can be an extremely stressful experience and officers rely heavily on our support and practical help.”

Among the support offered to officers was a private medical scheme which officers pay into., which Sgt Horn said was vital for ensuing officers spent as little time as possible off the streets through illness, with research suggesting the public benefit by £3 for every £1 spent on early treatment of officers.

He said: “Last year the scheme spent over £200,000 on treatment to help serving officers get back to full health quickly. “On that basis, our scheme has given the public of North Yorkshire more than £600,000 worth of extra policing in the last year alone. Waiting lists for such treatment through the NHS can extend to months – we can help officers start their recovery process within days.”