Police chiefs are to carry out an urgent review into the safety of officers. The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) commissioned the inquiry on behalf of all chief constables when they met on Monday to discuss the rise in attacks on officers and the latest string of serious incidents.
The move comes after the death of PC Andrew Harper on 15 August, who died while responding to a burglary in Berkshire.
The NPCC gathered senior police officers from across the country for a summit to discuss what could be done to protect officers. Two forces – Durham and Northamptonshire – had already said they would allow frontline officers to carry Tasers.
The review, which will hear from officers about their experiences, will focus on training, equipment, deployment, investigations into officer assaults and the support available afterwards. It will also investigate the response from the criminal justice system and extent to which it is providing a sufficient deterrent.
The NPCC’s chairman, Martin Hewitt, said the work would be carried out “at pace” because “nothing is more important to chiefs than protecting our people so they can effectively protect the public”. He added: “Officers should not have to face assault but we know there are risks in standing up to criminals and protecting our communities. Training, teamwork and public support gives them the confidence to face those risks.
“I am determined this work will provide considered recommendations on what more we can do to protect our frontline staff, respond as effectively as possible if they are assaulted and push for justice to be done.
Charlie Hall, the chief constable of Hertfordshire constabulary, will lead the review with the College of Policing. Contributions will be invited from the Police Federation, Police Superintendents’ Association, Unison and the Association of Special Constabulary Officers and a report is scheduled to be presented in November.