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Police Chiefs commission urgent review on officer safety

02 Sep 2019

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has commissioned an urgent review of officer safety on behalf of all chief constables. The review was agreed as UK police chiefs came together today to discuss officer safety after recent serious attacks on police officers and a recorded national increase in officer assaults.   

NPCC Lead for Operations, Chief Constable Charlie Hall will lead the review working closely with the College of Policing.  Review findings will be considered at an extraordinary Chief Constables’ Council in November.

Terms of reference for the review will be drawn up this week. The Police Federation, Police Superintendents’ Association, Unison and the Association of Special Constabulary Officers will be invited to contribute to the review including in defining terms of reference and reviewing findings. 

The review will hear from officers about their experiences and will gather all available evidence and research.  It will focus on five key areas:

  • officer safety training;
  • equipment;
  • deployment and operational planning;
  • investigations into officer assaults and the care provided after an assault;
  • and the response from the criminal justice system and the extent to which it is providing a sufficient deterrent.

Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council Martin Hewitt said:

“Policing is a career with huge rewards. Solving crime, seeing justice done and working within communities to improve peoples’ lives is what motivates people to become police officers.

“Officers should not have to face assault but we know there are risks in standing up to criminals and protecting our communities.  Training, teamwork and public support gives them the confidence to face those risks.

“I have commissioned an end-to-end review of officer safety - from training to equipment to the criminal justice outcomes when an officer is assaulted.

“We will draw on analysis and evidence but also work at pace because nothing is more important to chiefs than protecting our people so they can effectively protect the public.

“This review will complement the work every chief constable does to regularly assess the threats and risk in their force, and ensure officers are properly trained, equipped and supported.

“The experiences of officers themselves will be central to the review and we will work closely with staff associations representing officers, staff and volunteers.

“Chief constables are already increasing the number of Taser trained officers based on their assessment of the threat, risk and harm locally. But Taser is not the answer to all violent or threatening situations. 

“I am determined this work will provide considered recommendations on what more we can do to protect our frontline staff, respond as effectively as possible if they are assaulted and push for justice to be done.”