Post Incident Procedure needed beyond firearms incidents

26 October 2016

Che Donald

The need for effective Post-Incident Procedure (PIP) beyond just a firearms incident was one of the key themes on day one of the first-ever PIP seminar organised by the Police Federation of England and Wales.

The event, taking place in Leicestershire, is being attended by more than 150 professionals involved in dealing with people directly after an incident involving death or serious injury. The audience includes local and regional Federation representatives, lawyers, national policing leads and representatives from stakeholder organisations including the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and College of Policing.

Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for firearms, outlined the importance for forces to follow the PIP guidance encapsulated in Authorised Professional Practise (APP) by the College of Policing.

He made the point that without an effective PIP process the service risks the ability to retain and increase firearms officers through fear of the impact an incident can have on their life and career.

IPCC revised guidance around Post-Incident Procedure, drafted in March 2014, remains with the Home Office ahead of publication.

The audience heard from Scott Ingram of Slater and Gordon Solicitors who outlined the importance for this guidance to be fairly balanced for both the victims and their families and the officers involved, something he believes has not yet been achieved.

Kevin Nicholson from the College of Policing outlined how work is on-going to adapt and develop the existing PIP guidance to be used beyond just firearms incidents.

Che Donald, firearms lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales, and organiser of the event, echoed the opinion of other speakers, including DCC Chesterman, for this to be put in place as soon as possible.

“The guidance for Post Incident Procedure following a firearms incident is well established but needs refining and continually reviewing. More worrying for officers is the lack of guidance around any other incident following death or serious injury.

“Whilst some refinement and adaptation is required, the existing principles for firearms incidents are easily transferrable. It’s positive to hear that the College of Policing are progressing this but it must be delivered without delay, not only for the benefit of our members but also the benefit of victims involved.”

Reflecting on the day he said: “Lots of activity is on-going in this area of work but for the first time we’ve been able to draw all those involved into the same room. This helps improve the wider understanding of the complexities involved and we hope to see positive and timely progress as a result.”

The event continues on Thursday 27 October with speakers Professor Lorraine Hope, University of Portsmouth, and Dave Blocksidge giving an input around ‘Operational Witnesses’.