Kent Police Chief Constable Alan Pughsley has hosted a national event at which he and other policing leaders pledged to further improve officer and staff safety.
Representatives from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and College of Policing were in attendance at the event held at Kent Police College, Maidstone, on Wednesday 2 September 2020.
Chief Constable Pughsley is the NPCC Lead for Officer Safety and oversaw a full-scale review of the safety training and protective equipment available to officers across England and Wales, following concerns about the increased level of violence they face while on patrol.
The review resulted in 28 recommendations that have since been agreed by chief constables from across the country. These include the development of a new national curriculum for safety training, trials of new protective technology and more.
Chief Constable Pughsley said: ‘It is never acceptable for anyone to be assaulted or harmed just for turning up to do their job. We’re concerned by the rising numbers of assaults against officers and staff and have worked to make sure this review can quickly deliver improvements for them.
‘Sadly, we have found many of the respondents to our surveys have had to deal with the threat of assault on a near daily basis in their roles. Even assaults that end with no physical injury can result in significant mental impact on our staff. The review has also found a high proportion of deaths on duty while driving or commuting to work – these have been addressed head on.
‘Work to implement the recommendations of the review has begun at pace, even throughout the current pandemic. With the support of government, chiefs and staff associations, we have the commitments in place to make a positive difference for everyone within policing.
‘The views and experiences of over 40,000 officers and staff have helped shape this review and its recommendations. We will seek to repeat the national safety survey and test the views of officers and staff again as recommendations are implemented. We will also look to engage with officers and staff directly, involving them within regional practitioner groups which can inform chiefs of lived experiences.’