The secretary of Dyfed Powys Police Federation has called for members to receive the best equipment, training and support as he welcomed a new report into the rise of assaults on police officers.
Roger Webb says attacks on officers must not be tolerated and called for offenders to feel the full weight of the criminal justice system.
Roger said: “The public will quite rightly be disgusted at the number of attacks on officers. They’ve been on the front-line during the pandemic, putting their lives on the line to protect the public so to see them being attacked is appalling.
“Any attack on an officer is one too many and we need the toughest possible sentences handed down to send out the message it won’t be tolerated.
“And it’s only right that our members have access to the best equipment, the best training and the best support for the unique job that they do.”
Roger was speaking after the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and College of Policing published their wide-ranging Officer and Staff Safety Review.
The review was commissioned by NPCC chair Martin Hewitt after a spate of attacks on officers – last year there were 30,679 assaults on police officers in England and Wales, or 84 a day.
Roger has welcomed the review’s report, which makes 28 recommendations to improve officer safety, following a survey which attracted more than 40,000 responses.
Recommendations include training for roads policing officers, improved equipment and further research on the link between shift work and safe driving practices with the review having identified the high number of officer deaths as they travelled to and from work.
The Federation has backed the report’s recommendations, but national vice-chair Ché Donald said it must not just become another doorstop and be forgotten in a year’s time.
He explained: “There are many good points raised in this review, with much good work already in play. However, chief officers must now take swift action to implement?all immediately, so they are meaningful, make a tangible difference and are directly felt by officers on the ground.”
And he added: “Along with the majority of the public, the Federation is appalled by the atrocious levels of violence colleagues have faced recently and has been demanding action. That’s why we welcomed this review and want to see its finding make a real difference.
“All too often my colleagues are not treated as victims when they are assaulted, leaving them feeling failed by supervisors and the criminal justice system, as they have made clear in this officer and staff survey.
“It is only right officers have the very best equipment, training and support for the dangerous job they do; we made this crystal clear in PFEW’s evidence to the review.”
The recommendations include a review of equipment, the overhaul of safety training, and a new College of Policing led national curriculum so every officer receives the same standard of tuition.
In addition, the findings contain a commitment to officers and staff about the minimum standard of support and communication they would receive should they suffer an assault, and a pledge to consider rolling out ‘Operation Hampshire’ - the seven-point plan to reduce assaults further. The initiative was started locally in his home force by John Apter who is now national Federation chair.