Police are demanding more Tasers, as nine out of ten officers appear to have been attacked while on duty
Police officers want more access to Tasers because a devastating investigation found that nearly 90 percent have been attacked at least once in their careers.
A survey of 40,000 officers – the largest of its kind – revealed 30,885 attacks on officers in 2018/19, an increase of 17 percent.
Nearly four in ten officers said they had been attacked in the last year, and 88 percent had been attacked at least once in their career.
The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) report found that in 2018/19, 71,308 sick days were recorded as a result of assaults.
And 34 percent of officers said their personal safety training was inadequate, leading to the launch of a national curriculum to ensure standards for all 43 armed forces.
A variety of other broad measures have also been recommended, including stricter laws regarding suspects spitting at the police.
But the federation representing the regular officers has said the findings need to be followed up to prevent the report from becoming “ just another doorstop ” when the threat to agents persists.
A 31 percent year-over-year increase in attacks on officers in July is believed to have been caused by PCs manning protests (pictured in London), breaking up illegal raves and being spat on
A police officer receives medical attention during a Black Lives Matter protest in London on June 7
Che Donald, Deputy Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents more than 120,000 officers, said he hoped the report would not become “just another doorstop.”
The majority of police officers want access to Tasers, the report found
Three quarters of police officers want daily access to a Taser, despite the chief’s warning that the stun guns are no guarantee of safety and due to concerns about racial differences in their use.
A large survey of more than 40,000 police officers and staff in England and Wales, believed to be the largest of its kind, found that 76 percent of police officers and 85 percent of specials want to work with Taser every day.
Nearly all officers said they felt that more frontline personnel in their force should get the devices, while similar proportions said they all should at least have the ability to carry stun guns.
Kent Chief Constable Alan Pughsley, who is the Chief of Police of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) on officer safety, stressed that Tasers are “fallible.”
Emergency workers continue to be under siege while on duty and a recent spike in police violence is attributed to the coronavirus.
A 31 percent year-over-year increase in the number of attacks on officers in July is believed to have been fueled by PCs manning protests, breaking out illegal raves and being spat on.
June was a memorable one for Black Lives Matter rallies in London, where clashes with police took place in which officers were injured.
A striking photograph showed medics outside Downing Street taking care of an officer with blood pouring from his head.
The report was commissioned last fall by NPCC Chairman Martin Hewitt after a series of serious attacks on officers.
He said: In this review, we’ve followed the evidence, listened to the concerns of those within the service, and heard the views of the public.
‘The review and the breadth of the recommendations show that there is no single device that is the answer to all violent and threatening situations.
“Instead, chiefs of police have agreed on a broad package of measures that will significantly increase the safety of our brave and hard-working front line.”
Part of the review’s recommendations is a national curriculum and guidelines for contact time with trainers.
Some troops in England and Wales currently offer 16 hours of training per year, while others provide only four, while some include first aid and fitness testing as part of the curriculum.
The NPCC has called for a number of legislative changes as part of its report, which was published Wednesday.
It wants to create a specific crime of attacking an officer with a vehicle, and for stricter laws around the possession of ammonia and similar corrosive liquids.
As part of the review, the council has also called for spitting and hate crimes to be considered aggravating factors when suspects are brought to court for attacking officers.
Attacks on the police are on the rise, figures suggest
Attacks on police officers have spiked in recent months, figures suggest.
Police chiefs have blamed the wave of violence incidents of coughing and spitting related to the coronavirus, unrest in protests and illegal raves.
Preliminary data from all 43 armed forces in England and Wales showed an increase in the number of attacks of 24 percent in the four weeks to June 7 compared to the same period last year.
In July there was a 31 percent year-on-year increase in attacks on officers.
And in 2018/19, there were 328 attacks per 1,000 agents, up from 284 per 1,000 the previous year.
The NPCC wants suspects who spit at police to be forced to provide a blood sample to test for disease, and spit guards issued to all officers if supported by local risk assessments.
Police commissioners are also grappling with the number of officers to deal with Tasers, with strong support from the rank and file.
The survey found that 76 percent of police officers and 85 percent of specials want to deploy Tasers every day.
However, NPCC safety leader Alan Pughsley stressed that agents should not become too dependent on the devices and that they are not a guarantee of safety.
The agency has also launched an investigation into why black, Asian and ethnic minority suspects look more like Tasered.
Che Donald, Deputy Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, representing more than 120,000 officers, said: ‘Many good points have been made in this review, and a lot of good work is already underway.
However, the chief officers now need to take quick action to implement everything immediately so that they make sense, make a tangible difference, and are felt directly by officers on the ground.
This review shouldn’t just become a doorstop and be forgotten about a year later. That would mean letting my colleagues down even further.
Together with the majority of the public, the Federation is shocked by the horrific levels of violence that colleagues have faced of late and has demanded action.
“That’s why we welcomed this review and want to see the findings really make a difference.”
Two out of five police officers who died on the road traveled between jobs, according to research
More than two in five police officers who died between 2008 and 2019 died while traveling to or from work, research shows.
A major review of officer safety by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said the finding “could not be ignored.”
The NPCC is conducting further research into possible links between shift work and road accidents.
The report stated: ‘Although the OSSR (Security Assessment of Officers and Personnel) was primarily aimed at reducing the number and severity of the attacks faced by our officers and personnel, this finding could not be ignored.
To this end, this review recommends a number of measures to reduce the number of traffic-related road deaths.
‘Think of commissioning research into the connection between shift work and safe driving.’
The investigation found that of the 92 police officers who died between 2008 and 2019, 39 were killed in road accidents while commuting to work.
Kent Chief Constable Alan Pughsley, head of the NPCC for officer safety, said: “ We are doing a massive overhaul of this to understand health and safety, the shift pattern or any other element that may or may not contribute to it. ‘
National Deputy Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales Che Donald said fatigue could be a factor in the accidents.
He said: “Losing colleagues in any circumstance is tragic, but when such an alarmingly high number of officers die while commuting to or from work, alarm bells go off.
There may be multiple factors behind the reasons why, but it is likely that fatigue would have played a role in many of these cases and agents have told us they believe their level of fatigue poses a risk to their safety.
“The safety of police officers is absolutely paramount, and the Federation will continue to work with police leaders as this vital piece of research to identify the causes is conducted to help prevent further loss of life.”