Dear colleague

In 2012, policing has been tested at every level. From national operations against serious and strategic threats to the public, down to friendly, visible, approachable and responsive policing in local neighbourhoods across the country, we have been called upon as never before.

Yet crime continues to fall, while public confidence in policing is rising. A safe, secure and unforgettable London 2012 Games was delivered: one of the greatest security challenges in living memory. 2012 saw the election of Police and Crime Commissioners, the end of the National Policing Improvement Agency, the creation of the College of Policing, and the imminent arrival of the National Crime Agency.

We continue to deal with nine million calls for help each year. Those calls can require men and women within the service to walk towards danger while others walk away and tragically, some end in disaster. In 2012, one such routine call led to the deaths of our colleagues PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes of Greater Manchester Police, a terrible event which reminded the public of the sacrifices police officers make. We will never forget them and others who paid the ultimate price of protecting the public.

Harsh financial conditions have and continue to require police forces to make difficult and painful decisions. The morale of those working within the service can be put to the test, but what cannot be questioned is their commitment to the public. Above all policing's record of success in 2012 is a testament to the dedication, professionalism and integrity of police officers and staff in every force across the UK.

We wish you, your families and loved ones a safe and happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Derek Barnett, Paul McKeever, Sir Hugh Orde

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