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West Midlands Police Federation

West Midlands Police Federation contact details

Force acting to tackle officer assaults

15 January 2020

The Force is considering including vehicle extraction techniques in officer safety training courses.

The move comes after the Federation raised concerns about the number of officers being injured in incidents involving vehicles.

The Force’s initial response had been to put together a video training guide but, while a second training video is due out soon, the Federation does not feel this type of training is suitable and has called for a more hands-on approach.

“We don’t believe that these techniques can be learned by watching a video,” says John Williams, deputy-chair of West Midlands Police Federation, “It is far better for officers to see someone demonstrate the techniques and then try them out themselves while a trainer can assess what they are doing and give them tips on how to improve what they are doing.

“It is critical that we get this training right and I am pleased that the Force appears to be listening to what we are saying. Officer safety has to be of paramount importance.”

John was given an assurance that the learning and development department would look into further options for developing officer safety training ‘sooner rather than later’ when he attended the latest Force meeting on assaults on Tuesday 14 January.

The meeting was led by Assistant Chief Constable Chris Johnson who, John explained, was keen to see improvement in the Force’s approach to assaults.

As part of the Force’s 10-point plan on assaults, the Federation should be informed if an officer is assaulted so that it can offer support. However, this is not always happening, an issue raised at the meeting by John.

The ACC has agreed to ensure this happens in future.

“We welcome the ACC’s support on this and we are pleased he is driving forward progress on the way in which assaults are handled,” says John, “Once we start to be notified of all assaults, we can then assess if the 10-point plan is working as it should and put forward recommendations if we feel improvements are required.

“Mr Johnson, in line with the Federation’s stance, has also stressed that the Force is looking for positive outcomes with the CPS and the courts when officers are assaulted.”

The Force is going to carry out analysis of officer assaults to identify any patterns and see if steps can be taken to prevent attacks and offer better support to officers where required.

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September 2020
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