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Found 5 results

  1. Visit from Maggie, 11, whose father was killed on duty prompts announcement. Maggie Henry was made chief constable for a day A force has promised that anyone assaulted on duty will receive contact from a chief officer to check on their welfare. Bedfordshire Police has changed the policy and dubbed it ‘Maggie’s Law’ after the daughter of PC John Henry, killed on duty in Luton in 2007, spent at day at its headquarters. According to a statement from the force, 11-year-old Maggie Henry wants to help the force “look after our police officers, so that they can look after everyone else”. The chief officer team will now take the lead on checking that personnel who have been attacked get the support they need. Bedfordshire Police had already adopted the seven point plan on police assaults, first developed in Hampshire, which commits to treating assaulted officers as victims of crime. Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “Without question, an assault of any kind should never be considered ‘part of the job’. “Our workforce walks into danger when others walk away and sadly verbal and physical assaults are becoming commonplace – but that doesn’t mean it is acceptable. “Our officers should be afforded the support they need and deserve. This means they are treated the same way as any other victim of crime, they feel valued and that those who attack police officers are not dealt with lightly.” Bedfordshire Police Federation Chairman, Jim Mallen added: “Looking after officers and staff members who have been assaulted while doing their duty should be a primary consideration for police leaders. “The Police Federation brought into Bedfordshire the seven point plan and Maggie's law seems a natural extension to highlight to those assaulted that we care about them and will do our utmost to support them.” PCC Kathryn Holloway said she has raised the issue of short sentences for people who attack officers with the government. “I never want another family in this county to experience what Maggie Henry and her family have had to go through,” she added. “In my view, an attack on a police officer is not the same as an assault on any other member of the public, since police are standing on the front-line between those who keep the law and those who want to undermine it. “An attack on a single officer is an assault on society itself and should be met with the toughest penalty possible.” View on Police Oracle
  2. PC attacked just weeks into the job urges offenders to consider the consequences of their actions. Officer Clifford had to undergo surgery twice following the incident. A constable who was viciously attacked just weeks into the job has urged offenders to think on the ramifications of what they do. PC Sherry Clifford, a patrol officer in Evesham, Worcestershire, was assaulted only five weeks after completing her initial training. Her case has been highlighted by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion, as part of a drive to reduce violence against officers. After being called to a fight in Evesham City Centre a man kicked PC Clifford in the face fracturing her jaw and causing her to lose two teeth. She also had to undergo two bouts of surgery. At first the constable was unaware of the severity of her injuries but six weeks of repeated trips to the dentist soon brought home the reality to her. She said: “I began to feel worried about being in the same situation again, I also felt frustration that it had happened to me so early in my career.” PC Clifford chose not to take any sick leave and says she would have been “frightened” to return the role had it not been for the support of her tutor and inspector throughout the recovery process. Her tutor referred her to the Police Federation who were able to provide additional support and in one-to-one sessions with her sergeant and inspector. They all agreed for her to attend further public order incidents in Worcester to relatively soon after the incident to “stop the fear setting in”. Now PC Clifford “wants the public to realise that every officer and member of staff has a family, a private life and wants to go back home safe.” She added: “I want offenders to think about the wider consequences, what if this was their sister or girlfriend? I want offenders to consider the person outside of the uniform. “It’s not okay to grab or push police officers, it’s not part of their job. “Police officers are often called upon in times of desperation so deserve more respect.” PC Clifford said that by sharing he story she hoped to promote an understanding that officers are “human not machines.” She added: “Hitting a police officer is a really shameful act, these are the people who are there to help." Earlier this year Police Oracle launched our BluePrint campaign which calls on the government to meet its obligation of protecting officers both in the job and when they have been forced out of the service because of physical injuries or mental trauma. View on Police Oracle
  3. Home Office to make money available to help officers' mental health and wellbeing needs. Amber Rudd and Steve White at the Police Federation Conference in May A National Police Welfare Service will be launched with Home Office funds to provide dedicated welfare support for officers. Some £7.5 million will be given to a pilot for the service, to be run by the College of Policing, “working very closely” with the Police Federation of England and Wales. Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced the move today in an editorial for Police Oracle. She wrote: “I’ve seen first-hand the commitment shown by you, our police officers. I am very aware that your uniquely challenging work can easily place stressful demands on you. The things you see, the dreadful stories you hear, the frightening situations in which you can find yourself must, in some cases, have an impact on someone’s personal wellbeing and their mental health. “It’s only right that policing does all it can to provide high quality support for officers and staff. I welcome the work already being done by forces and chief officers to promote officer health and wellbeing, but we also want to enhance the safety net of support available to you.” She added: “Today, I am awarding £7.5 million from the Police Transformation Fund over three years to pilot and - if it is successful - fund a dedicated national service to help provide enhanced welfare support, for any officer or member of staff who needs it.” Subject to it being successful, it will be rolled out to all 43 forces between 2018 and 2020. In January Police Oracle accused the government of failing to meet its obligation of protecting our officers both in the job and, particularly, when they have been forced out of the service because of physical injuries or mental trauma. Via our BluePrint campaign we called on the Government to acknowledge and protect our unique service, the best in the world as stated by politicians themselves, by introducing a Police Covenant. Much in the way the £10 million per annum Armed Forces Covenant accepts applications to support the armed forces community, we suggested a covenant could work in a similar way. Officers forced to retire, in need of modifications at home, physiotherapy, mental health assistance or families left with no father or mother would all be able to apply to the trust for grants. Police Federation of England and Wales chairman Steve White, said: “This is fantastic news for all officers and particularly our members whose work in high-stress situations has been exacerbated over the years because policing numbers have been cut to the bone. “Now they will have access to a properly funded welfare service offering specialist help which the Federation has been calling for for years. “While forces have tried hard to provide support, it has been very difficult in the current austerity climate to ensure good provision across the board.” The Fed’s welfare survey has highlighted many issues in this area, with 65 per cent telling it last year that they still went to work even though they felt they shouldn’t because of the state of their mental wellbeing. Mr White added: “We took proactive steps to better understand the issues that exist, but realised that our findings were likely to only be the tip of the iceberg. Nonetheless, it was important evidence which we used to push leaders to improve the support given to their staff. “We will continue to work with the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs’ Council to ensure that the scheme is a success and provides the support that is needed for the service.” View on Police Oracle
  4. Force is set to introduce extra leave for personnel, and head is also determined to help officers' finances as much as he can. CC Bill Skelly spoke to Police Oracle in his office in Nettleham, Lincs Extra days off are set to be introduced at a force in order to keep officers and staff healthy and motivated. Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Bill Skelly says he is putting wellbeing at the front and centre of his agenda – and may even look to tackle pension issues. In an interview with PoliceOracle.com, he said: “I have two organisational goals I want to achieve: one is around the quality of service I deliver to the public of Lincolnshire, and the other is around wellbeing. I feel that if I have a healthy, a happy and a well organisation, then that supports the first goal.” The chief, who started in his role in February, has immediately set out a number of ideas which he feels could help this – including extra days of paid leave. “I’ve said if you’re involved in a Police Sport UK activity you can have up to three days paid leave per year. “I know the data will tell me individuals who take that up are less likely to be sick so it’s a zero-sum for me.” He added: “This isn’t just about those who are going to want to be active anyway – it’s my intention that every member of staff will have access to two days paid leave per year to be involved in some kind of [non-sporting] activity [as well]. "I’m open-minded about what that could be." He gave examples of charity or youth work, adding: "The idea is that it’s being more active than you would otherwise be." The former HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland added that while the financial situation means that he cannot bring more officers into the force at present, he is determined to support those who serve as much as he possibly can. The 27-year-service officer, a keen police volleyball player, is also looking at having a non-mandatory higher standard for the police fitness test for Lincolnshire Police, better access to gym facilities and adopting a goal of trying to make his force the “healthiest in the country”. A new “wellbeing coordinator” has just been appointed in order to help the chief’s ideas become reality. “People who join Lincolnshire Police are here for a long time, if you’re a new starter you could be here for 40 years,” he said, explaining part of why he feels it is so important to boost health and happiness. PoliceOracle.com put it to him that it is often said policing is no longer a job for life, and therefore not something new recruits will be doing for four decades. CC Skelly replied that the things which inspired him to become an officer – a sense of fairness, justice and duty – are the same as why people join today, and those traits do not disappear throughout peoples' careers. “Why is it we’re talking across the service a language that suggests people may come and go? I suggest that’s because it’s difficult to contemplate in the current employment market the incentives which will allow people to stay for that duration. “I personally think much of that is motivated by pensions, and if I’m wrong I’m happy to be corrected, but if it’s not a main driver it is certainly one of the drivers.” He recounted being told about concerns people have about their financial security around their incomings and outgoings, and also police pension schemes changing after they have been signed-up to. “I think there’s a real risk to us as a service that we start locking in or locking out people from a career because of the financial arrangements, in particular because of the pension arrangements. “That’s something I’m keen to explore with financial colleagues, to say - if we start were to start with a blank piece of paper and have some innovative thinking how could we support people? I do see it as part of the wellbeing agenda.” When it was put to him that he is heavily constrained in this area, he replied: “I’ve been told that a couple of times, but you need to tell me that more often before I believe you. There are very strict rules and many complexities to that, but there is still a question in my mind that says – what are the alternatives? What can be explored? “If it is of benefit to the public because I have a happy workforce, a workforce that feels valued, that is of benefit to me. "What are the costs involved? For that I need actuaries, pension advisers, lawyers. But I think accepting a straightforward ‘no’ at this point is not doing my employees any good, and I think I need to be a bit more intrusive around that. “If the answer is legislation and regulation has got you tied, well, then I go to government and say here’s where you can perhaps help.” View on Police Oracle
  5. Fed says 'no one benefits' from system where demand is high and resource low. More than 60 per cent of police officers believe their workload is too high. The concerning, but not surprising, statistic was revealed in a survey which illustrates how officers face an increase in demand which is affecting the quality of their work. The Police Federation's recent welfare poll also highlighted an issue in proactive policing, with 70 per cent of respondents disagreeing or strongly disagreeing they have enough time to engage in such a thing. Police Oracle is highlighting different elements of the survey as part of its BluePrint campaign. The campaign wants the government to fulfil its duty of protecting officers both in the job, and when they have been forced out of the service due to physical injuries or mental trauma. Police Oracle is calling on the Government to acknowledge and protect our unique service by introducing a Police Covenant. The Fed has also launched Protect The Protectors with the organisation seeking a change in legislation so that officers who are assaulted in the course of their duties are afforded better protection. Jason Kwee, Chairman of the Fed's Health and Safety sub-committee, says one of the Peelian principles of policing is the ‘prevention of crime and disorder’. “One of the most effective ways to do this is with proactive patrols. I remember when there were sufficient staffing levels on the shift, a couple of officers would don their ‘civvy jackets’, take out an unmarked car and target specific areas or individuals. Unfortunately, such opportunities rarely exist anymore, with officers barely managing to cover the stacked calls and incidents that roll in on an average shift.” The survey found more than half the respondents (58 per cent) disagreed or strongly disagreed that they have enough time to do their job to a standard of which they could be proud. Mr Kwee said this was not surprising as officers are frustrated they do not always get the opportunity to give a consistent "gold standard service". “Policing is a proud vocation and officers come to work to give the best service to the community they serve. As with most things in life, if you focus on the quantity element, then the quality may suffer," he added. “With the constant pressure of incoming incidents, and the increasing lack of available resources, officers attending incidents will no doubt feel pressured to complete the current task as quickly as needed and to move on to the next incident. Unfortunately, no one benefits from this, especially the victims of crime.” As reported by Police Oracle last month, other headline figures from the demand survey included: 66 per cent of officers indicated their workload was too high 33 per cent admitted being the victim of an unarmed physical attack at least once per month over the last year 36 per cent reported being attacked with a weapon at least once in the last year 70 per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed that they have enough time to engage in proactive policing 80 per cent acknowledged experiencing feelings of stress, low mood, anxiety, or other mental health and wellbeing difficulties 92 per cent of those indicated their psychological difficulties had been caused or made worse by work View on Police Oracle