Civil Nuclear Police Federation backs Police Officer safety measures
A new offence for those deliberately using, threatening or attempting to use a vehicle to target a police employee and the potential to increase the availability of Tasers and Spit Guards for use by officers are just two of the recommendations in a new Safety Review.
In total 28 recommendations have been made by the National Police Chiefs' Council today in a nationwide 156-page report into the rapid rise of assaults against police officers - and importantly what can be done to combat them.
Statistics show there were 30,679 assaults on police officers in England & Wales last year. That's 590 a week. 84 a day. The research by the College of Policing also found 88% of officers said they had been assaulted during their career.
Other recommendations in the safety review include new approach to investigations into officer assaults with arrest of an offender the default position, The College of Policing overhauling current safety training and replacing it with a new national curriculum and considering the benefits of any BWV footage of assaults on officers and staff being played at court, regardless of the defendant's plea.
Gary Thwaite, Chief Executive of the Civil Nuclear Police Federation, said: "Police officers have every right to be safe on their shifty. Officers are not society's punchbags so anything that offers our hard-working colleagues greater protection when they go about their duties is most welcome."
More than 40,000 interested parties contributed to the review's questionnaire.
Other recommendations include that the College of Policing should produce a learning package for officers and staff to raise awareness of the risks of a corrosive substances and that Chief Constables should issue slash- and needlestick-resistant gloves to all police officers.
National Police Chiefs' Council Chair Martin Hewitt said: "In this Review, we have followed the evidence, listened to the concerns of those within the service, and heard the views of the public.
"The Review and the breadth of its recommendations show that there is no one piece of equipment that is the answer to all violent and threatening situations. Instead, chief constables have agreed a broad package of measures that will significantly enhance the safety of our brave and hardworking frontline.
"We're overhauling safety training, trialling new technology and tactics, reviewing the availability of equipment and taking a hard line on the standard of response after an assault. Chiefs have also agreed to take suggestions for legislative change to government to further protect officers and staff.
"The primary purpose of the police service is to keep the public safe. Having well trained and equipped officers and staff allows us to fulfil that purpose as well as our responsibility to do all we can to protect our people.
"Policing is a career with huge rewards but front line police officers and staff join knowing they face some risks and will sometimes have to run towards danger. Those risks can never be eliminated completely but, as these changes are implemented, we do expect to see a reduction in the number of assaults and greater satisfaction in the response after an assault."