22 February 2022
A Derbyshire Police Federation representative who received life-changing injuries during an attack while on duty is determined to use his experience to help fellow members after being appointed as the branch’s health and safety lead.
Steve Reid began his new role in January, after being approached to take on the position thanks to his keen interest in looking after officers’ safety.
His passion for protecting his fellow members was strengthened after he was brutally attacked in 2019 when he was called to reports of a robbery.
Father-of-three Steve (46) tried to detain a man who was carrying an undisclosed object and, in an attempt to stop him harming anybody else, found himself to be the victim of a life-changing assault, which nearly cost him his eye and potentially his life as the result of a knife attack.
“As health and safety lead, I’m committed to doing whatever I can to ensure officers go to work, do their job and go home, uninjured,” said Steve, who became a Federation member in 2001, the same year he joined the Force.
“Officers are getting injured on a daily, if not weekly basis and these incidents can change a person’s life forever.”
Steve received a seven-inch and eight-inch scar down the side of his face as a result of the attack, which led to him taking eight months off work to recover.
Having decided he could no longer work on the frontline due to the trauma of the incident, Steve returned to the Force but in an office role, as part of the digital media investigations team.
“I hope to pass on the things I learnt from my experience to fellow members,” added Steve, “And, having spent most of my career in uniform, I’ll be able to use what I learnt from working on the front line too. I just want to be there to support others.”
Steve says he feels very passionately about making sure officers feel safe on the job because they are putting themselves at risk on a daily basis.
“It’s the spontaneous incidents that we can’t predict, they’re the ones that have a huge impact on officers. Take what happened to me for example, I was called to a simple robbery and things escalated very quickly. During those few seconds of total madness, my life was changed forever,” he explained.
“The risks we are taking are very real, I don’t deny that, but it’s putting the support and training in place that will help.”
Looking forward, Steve says his priority is working closely with the Force, while keeping officers on top of their health and safety training.
“I know that changes won’t happen overnight, but even the smallest change can make the biggest difference,” Steve said, “I’m looking forward to new challenges.
“Health and safety should be at the forefront of everybody’s mind, not only for that person but for the sake of those they are on duty with too.”
In September last year, Steve’s attacker Richard Jefford (39) was sentenced to 10 years for causing grievous harm with intent.
“I wouldn’t wish what happened to me, or anyone, but I hope I can now use my experience to help others,” said Steve.
“I’m in a better place now and back at work. I like what I do and I’m really enjoying my role in the Federation, it gives me a reason and purpose to get up and go to work.”
By way of developing in his role in the Federation, Steve plans on taking part in an official health and safety course in the near future.