General Secretary

This year has started dramatically with further announcements from the Prime Minister implementing further National lockdowns in England, with the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland introducing restrictions of a similar nature but I recognise there may be differences in each of the four countries where the POA have membership.

POA members should rightfully be proud of their strength and resilience throughout this current year as keyworkers during this global pandemic


When I became the POA General Secretary in May 2010 there had been five previous General Secretaries since 1939 those being Harley Cronin, Fred Castell, Ken Daniel, David Evans, Brian Caton.

This pandemic of COVID-19 is far from over as we have witnessed with further local lockdowns in our communities and indeed those on the brink of lockdown. 

The Prime Minister on Sunday 10th May 2020 took the first steps in easing the coronavirus lockdown in a pre-recorded message stating he wants to encourage people to take more and unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise provided they stick to social distancing guidelines and stay two metres apart.


The Ministry of Justice on the 5th May 2020 released the following figures as of 17:00 hours on Monday 4th May:


It is International Workers Memorial Day today 28th April 2020 and each year all around the world the trade union movement holds a minute silence at 11am to remember those who have lost their lives at work, or from work related injury and diseases. Workers Memorial Day is commemorated around the world and is officially recognised by the UK Government.


At the time of writing this update I have to report that unfortunately another colleague has sadly lost their battle against COVID-19 and my thoughts and prayers during this tragic time are with family, friends and colleagues. Out of respect I will not be naming our colleague at this moment in time until I am officially permitted to do so.


As I do my weekly update pertaining to COVID-19 it is with regret that yet another colleague at HMP Wymott Mr David Bentham has died and I am sure all our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues at this distressing time. I am also aware that more prisoners in our care have sadly died as well and again our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends.


Since the last Gatelodge edition circulated in December 2019 much has happened. The Conservatives won the General Election with a very large majority. 

Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.