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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Federation on Firearms Review: Change will not take place unless we raise our voices and share our experiences

25 October 2023

The Home Office has begun a review into whether there needs to be changes to the law to provide “sufficient protections” for police officers using force or undertaking pursuits.

The review will “assess the existing legal frameworks and guidance on practice that underpin police use of force and police driving, and the subsequent framework for investigation of any incidents that may occur.”

The review will:

- consider longstanding demands from frontline police officers and chiefs for investigators to apply the “subjective” criminal law test for self-defence in police misconduct rather than the “objective” civil test.

- consider whether there should be a higher threshold for triggering an investigation by police watchdogs.

- consider whether investigations – which can last years – can be accelerated “including whether more effective working between the IOPC and CPS can reduce timescales of criminal investigations.”

Tony Henley, Secretary of Avon and Somerset Police Federation, said: “We would encourage all officers to respond to the survey. This is our opportunity to ‘tell it as it is’ to the Home Office.

“For years our colleagues have been working tirelessly to keep our communities safe without the “sufficient protections for those in the line of duty and maintain public confidence in policing”. Change will not take place unless we raise our voices and share our experiences.

“The link to the survey is in your email box; raise you voice and have your say.”

The Home Office said: “Police officers across England and Wales do an incredibly difficult job, in some instances having to make life or death decisions in a split second to keep us safe.

“It is vital the public and officers have clarity and confidence in the accountability system relating to police use of force and police driving, including the efficacy of investigations.”