Crucial to build on first-ever Post-Incident Procedure seminar

27 October 2016

The conclusion of the first-ever Post-Incident Procedure (PIP) seminar, organised by the Police Federation of England and Wales, has put a marker in the sand for beginning to tackle the challenges faced

Delegates at the event heard from a series of experts around a wide range of subjects including; existing and developing guidance, the role of the IPCC in investigations and welfare support available to officers.

The second day of the seminar saw Lorraine Hope, Professor of Applied Cognitive Psychology at Portsmouth University and Dave Blocksidge, from the Police Fireams Operators Association, give a fascinating insight into the effects that a highly impactive incident can have on a person’s memory.

They outlined how highly stressful situations and factors including physical exertion can have a huge effect on an officers memory of an incident. Findings, backed up by significant amounts of research, concluded that investigations following an incident should not be memory tests.

The day ended with a table top exercise in which delegates were taken through a scenario and asked to contribute their outlook on how they would manage the incident. It was clear that PIP guidance is open to interpretation and approaches can differ between forces.

Che Donald, from the Police Federation of England and Wales, and organiser of the event, is keen to build on the seminars success.

“This has been a very productive seminar and it is crucial that we build on this. Running the same event in 12 months time isn’t necessarily the answer, we need to learn from what we have seen here over the past two days and take this forward accordingly,” he said.

“Just as important as the representatives at the event are the officers on the ground who need to understand what PIP is and what the process involves. What are the implications for them, what are the risks for them and what accountability are they liable to in relation to the force, the public and the IPCC?

“The most significant risk out there is to operational police officers, officers on response levels and custody where there have been fatalities.

“What has been made abundantly clear over the past two days is that protection is afforded to the force and the officer if guidance is followed correctly. Existing Authorised Professional Practice is the gold standard and needs to exist for incidents beyond firearms operations.”