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Wiltshire Police Federation

PFEW recognises genuine apprehension of firearms officers

25 September 2023

Polfed News

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) welcomes the review announced by the Home Secretary into how the actions of police officers are investigated but nonetheless, recognises the genuine apprehension that firearms officers have following the recent decision of the Crown Prosecution Service.

There is no doubt that every case which results in the loss of someone’s life is devastating for that person’s family and friends. Such an event also has a huge impact on the officers involved and on society in general. Officers volunteer to carry firearms in the knowledge that they are putting their lives on the line to ensure the safety of the communities they serve. While they unreservedly accept being held to account for their actions, they rightly expect to be subjected to a fair, independent, unbiased and transparent process.

The PFEW shares the Met Police Commissioner’s concern about the growing dissatisfaction amongst firearms officers who, even when they follow the tactics and training they have received, will face significant struggles and hardships over what are usually split-second decisions taken by them in dangerous and fast-moving situations.

In this respect, the PFEW agrees that the emergency review announced by the Home Secretary is long overdue and it is hoped that this will ensure police officers have the appropriate legal protection they need when undertaking crime prevention operations.

We also take this opportunity to call on all stakeholders for greater use of identity protection for police officers involved in sensitive and high-profile cases to ensure their safety.

The PFEW wants to assure its members that it will continue to work with the Government and policing organisations – especially the NPCC and the College of Policing, and with political parties and MPs to afford them the protection and robust processes they deserve.

Our members can seek advice from their local Federation branch if they have any concerns.