90 days from today is Sat, 16 March 2019
26 November 2018
We Want To Keep You Safe. An update from GMP Federation lead Health & Safety Lead Martin Lally
The work doesn’t stop for you all out there and this has been the theme of our recent efforts, as we have been looking at enhanced welfare provision for detectives.
The current recruitment gap in detecting means reduced numbers of detectives are managing increasing and complex enquires. We have gathered officers from around the force and we are working to find a provision we can recommend to the force – and maintain pressure so that this provision is adopted.
Our new Chair Stu Berry has now arrived and has taken an active role in some of our areas of business, which is refreshing. We will work with Stu to ensure that the hard work we put in with you to raise the issues are also raised through him at the top of the force command chain.
We have also been looking at Tutor Constables. The role of a Tutor is extremely demanding and the force should recognise this with more than the one-off £100 payment that is currently offered. It is my view that you should be rewarded to the value of £100 per student that you tutor.
This is something I have been quite clear on with the force and they have agreed to look at this. I’m not prepared to let this go by without discussion as the role is critical to the guidance of our future police officers here in Manchester.
The non-stop demand of response policing coupled with reduced numbers and a now very young-in-service workforce mean the pressure is really beginning to be felt. We have provided the force with examples of dangerously low numbers and had it recorded that we think that the current situation is not a safe system of working. Staffing levels are a standing order on both the force health and safety meetings and our own Federation committee meetings.
We have seen the tide of public opinion begin to turn on our numbers and investment. It’s by no means going to change tomorrow, but the lack of funding resources is truly on the agenda.
The stresses faced by response and neighbourhood staff have come to a point where it has led us to question how current and valid the risk assessment is for uniform patrolling.
We have asked for it to be reviewed and the force have agreed, so we will be meeting a number of officers and reps from all corners of the force and country to ensure the finished article gives you the best protections possible.
We continue to play an active part in a number of groups including, the driver’s standards board (DSB). This is an area of fantastic progress by the force. At first contact you may think it’s a bad thing, but trust us, it is a fair and proportionate way of dealing with driving matters without immediately escalating them to the PSB/CPS and seeing officers placed in difficult situations feeling the full brunt of the law. We attend every DSB to represent you and ensure that a realistic approach is being taken with the challenges that you face.
The force is reviewing the way in which front line staff are trained in first aid. They are responding to concerns raised by officers that at major incidents they have little more knowledge than someone who works in an office for a private company. It is early days, but there is an aspiration for officers to have similar level training to that of a PSU medic.
We have urged caution. This has come from a good place, but we foresee an impact on officer workloads. It is an emotive subject and in the ideal world having this training would be nothing short of a godsend, but in our current climate it could be a green light for the ambulance service to place further demands on us.
We see advantages and disadvantages with both sides of the argument. Our main concern is you and the risk it may expose you to.
Training has been another big issue. We welcome the new force policy of 12 months for PST Refresher training, mainly because we want to see you protected. Training is certainly somewhere that a PSB or IOPC Officer will look if investigation was to come to your door.
The force have a legal obligation to ensure you are trained and refreshed correctly – and it’s a balance of importance in relation to us challenging them to provide this and you taking part. I say this every time and honestly mean it: all our efforts are concentrated on making your working environment safer. All we want is everyone to go home safe at the end of their duty.