The Police Federation has been instrumental in getting new face coverings to every officer in the country. Find out what we have been up to and read the latest guidance below.
Please note that the rules around face coverings outlined in the video were correct at time of filming (July 2020). The current guidance for the public from the government detailing the situations where wearing a face covering is required by law is available on www.gov.uk. This link also contains details of those who are exempt from wearing face coverings in public. The government have produced exemption cards for people to print and carry or save on their mobile phones: examples can be found here.
Superintendent Hannah Wheeler, National Police PPE lead explained how the PFEW National Uniform Working Group played a pivotal role in getting face coverings to our frontline.
"Our attention, during the Covid crisis more than ever, has been focussed on keeping our officers safe. As the scientific advice changed, and we prepared for the public to return to the streets as lockdown eased, it became clear that face coverings were going to be the new ‘must have’ bit of kit.
"But finding a supplier who could provide 600,000 high-spec face coverings in time to comply with the government’s guidelines was going to be no mean feat. I tasked the National Uniform Working Group, led by Jayne Gowler, to find a solution.
"Using their existing and extensive procurement and distribution networks, and their experience creating guidance, the Op Talla PPE team swung into action - working to understand the specification of different designs and styles of face covering, and identifying potential suppliers.
"A supplier was quickly identified and, thanks to generous financial support from Durham Constabulary, we were able to procure a national order. Meanwhile virtual meetings took place between the Federation, Oscar Kilo, Health & Safety and the College of Policing to agree new national guidance that would be issued alongside the new face coverings.
"It took just five weeks from my tasking the National Uniform Working Group to the new face coverings being in the hands of officers. It was an incredible effort – proving the power of collaboration and problem-solving (even when working remotely!)
"As Steve Jobs so aptly put: "great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people” and we have a brilliant team which continues tirelessly to support our colleagues, helping them to protect themselves and the communities we serve."
Read the full guidance on face coverings issued by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing.
You can find tips on communicating with those for whom face coverings pose a problem- including people who rely on lip reading and facial expressions at Action on Hearing.
More information can also be found on the PPE hub - created to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.