Saturday, 23 September 2017
National Vice-Chair Calum Macleod calls on MPs to Protect The Protectors ahead of the Labour and Conservative party conferences.
Police officers work tirelessly to protect the public from harm, and that has never been more evident than in recent months as we continue to fight terrorism, as well as an increase in the vast majority of crimes. But who protects the protectors? The answer is of course the Federation, as it's our duty as a staff association, but the answer also lies with Parliament.
Under the campaign Protect The Protectors we are working hard to do exactly that. The campaign was initiated to raise awareness of the staggering number of assaults that are committed against police officers – it is estimated that one takes place every four minutes – but has evolved to encompass much more.
Friday, 22 September 2017
Today saw PFEW lead with two very important updates: the first being an open letter to the Prime Minster demanding answers around the pay award and the other being the results of our Routine Arming Survey, which is the focus of this blog.
While the figures are out there, there does need to be context added to the results as there is much more behind the headlines than just ‘Cops wanting Guns’.
When we compare the survey to the last one which was done in 2006, the most significant change is around the percentage of officers who wish to be routinely armed - an increase of 10 percentage points, taking the 2006 figure from 24% to 34%. While this figure represents the national view of all federated ranks, the support for routine arming varies significantly from this figure when we break it down by role type or rank.
Another important stat to come from the survey is the willingness of police officers to carry a firearm if necessary: this figure similarly increased by 10 percentage points since 2006 to 55%.
Finally, the personal view from majority of those who took part, is that they do not wish to be routinely armed, equating to two thirds of the responses.
It shouldn’t really come as any surprise that there are increases in the survey results since 2006. In fact I was prepared for the increases to be higher. Police officer numbers have been decimated under this government, while demand has increased, along with the country being subject to numerous acts of terrorism. Officers have been single- crewed in an attempt to spread reduced numbers to meet these increasing demands, often leaving them facing violent incidents on their own, with backup further away than we would like to admit.
The question of routine arming is always going to be an emotive one - for our officers and for the public too. However we need to understand that how and what we police is changing. In the 15 years that I have been serving, we have gone from VHS CCTV recordings to digital; facial recognition was undertaken by officer observation; a less than lethal option to a firearm was a baton round; we didn’t wear body armour; my radio weighed more than a house brick and I never thought that officers would have to deal with a marauding terrorist attack or respond to the aftermath of a bomb at a pop concert.
Just as technology moved ahead quickly, so has the threat, harm and risk to public and the police. In Chief Constable Sarah Thornton’s recent press release, she states that the ‘spate of attacks in the UK and Europe are a shift not a spike in the threat, which will take 20 or 30 years to eliminate.’ Interpret that as you wish. I interpret it as these latest attacks won’t be the last.
Sunday, 10 September 2017
Tim Rogers, lead on police pursuits for the Police Federation of England and Wales, discusses the long struggle to better protect emergency service drivers and why it is finally coming to a head.
We have campaigned for a change in legislation around emergency response driving for seven years now. Current legislation does not recognise professional training - the very training that enables them to do their job and keep our communities safe.
Trained professionals are being judged by the same standards as the careful and competent driver, as a member of the public in any normal driving situation.
Tuesday, 05 September 2017
Karen Stephens, national lead for detectives and secretary for the Police Federation's National Detectives' Forum (PFNDF) on why this specialist area of policing is in crisis and the need to evidence just how bad the situation is.
Traditionally to become a detective you had to fight for it. Prove that you had what it takes - it was a career that I long aspired to pursue, my vocation. But I've watched colleagues become down heartened with the job - stressed, over-worked, under paid, and with no incentive for promotion decide to leave the service. Our latest national detectives' survey seeks the views of serving officers. We want their voices to be heard - the reality to be told.
Friday, 01 September 2017
Simon Kempton, lead on Use of Force forms, explains why the new system shows transparency but more work needs to be done to create a clearer picture.
Now that ‘use of force’ statistics are being released by police forces across England and Wales, how do they stack up in painting an accurate picture of the reality of what officers face on a daily basis?
Well, they certainly give a flavor of the sheer volume of incidents colleagues deal with but as with any new process only time will help paint the full picture.