Seminar addresses serious post incident issues

18 October 2017

Delegates to the Federation’s second annual Post Incident Procedures (PIPs) seminar have been hearing from a range of guest speakers and experts.  Hosted by Che Donald, firearms lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), the two-day event is taking place in Staffordshire and is sponsored by Axon, makers of the X2 Taser.

DCC Simon Chesterman, firearms lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) spoke via video to stress that deaths involving firearms officers are “thankfully extremely rare” but when they happen it is essential that police follow established Authorised Professional Practice (APP) to protect themselves. He said that it should not always be necessary to separate officers in a PIP situation, particularly with the advent of body worn video creating a record.
Delegates were told that the number of road fatalities involving police contact stands at 32 in the last year, and deaths in custody at 55, far in excess of six firearms fatalities – yet there is no APP for custody or roads policing.

Tim Godwin, representing the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) gave his reassurance that the IPCC is making efforts to speed up its investigations and invite challenge if it appears to falter. He discussed the forthcoming IPCC restructure and best PIPs practice, adding: “When we talk about separation of officers in a post incident situation we don’t mean isolation – they should have access to a Federation Rep and support – this is purely to maintain integrity.”

The seminar heard from Gill Scott-Moore of the Police Dependants’ Trust, and neuropsychology expert, Dr Jess Miller. She explained that understanding around how a brain operates after a critical or traumatic incident has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Dr Miller expressed concern that officers in PIP situations are often being required to give their account of what happened “too soon”, without allowing the brain sufficient time and rest to process.

Later in the day, Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Mead and Temporary Chief Inspector Julia Hands from Cambridgeshire Constabulary, delivered a detailed account of their role as Post Incident Managers into a fatal shooting. They covered issues such as post trauma triage and how to safeguard the anonymity of officers involved.

In response to feedback from last year’s event, delegates were faced with PiP scenarios by Dave Blocksidge of Mind Your Evidence, an independent organisation which looks at expert witness testimony and memory training solutions. Mr Blocksidge is due to deliver a session on Body Worn Video and recall on day-two.