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Officers should only be separated following a firearms incident if it is practical and necessary

21 Feb 2017

DCC Simon Chesterman responds to draft guidance published by the IPCC which deals with firearms officers in an incident where they have discharged their weapon resulting in death or serious harm.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Armed Policing, Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman said:

“Police leaders are working hard to recruit and retain sufficient numbers of armed officers, but we know there are still concerns about how officers could be treated in the event that they have to discharge their firearms.

“The police service welcomes robust scrutiny from the IPCC, but we do not believe that it is proportionate and necessary to routinely separate officers. Instead, the unit can be kept together but supervised as a whole to prevent collusion with the IPCC observing this process to verify its integrity, a solution supported in the Court of Appeal.

“It is an immense responsibility to train and serve as a firearms officer; physically and mentally demanding while putting yourself in harms’ way to protect the public.  It is important that officers don’t feel that they are immediately under suspicion and keeping officers together as a unit is important for their mental well-being after a traumatic incident.”

Current College of Policing guidance for post-incident procedures can be found here