Double-Crewing Of Police Officers Has So Many Benefits

IT makes sense for officers to be double-crewed from a safety perspective, but also for morale, Hampshire Police Federation has said.

New research focused on West Midlands Police shows that double-crewing increases detection rates by 44%, charges summonses and cautions go up by 82%, and serious officer injury rates almost drop to zero.

In addition, a cost-benefit analysis found that for every £1 forces spend on double-crewing they get £2.75 in return, making it a cost-effective way to police.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said: “There’s a lot of pressure from bosses not to double-crew, so that there are more vehicles to go to the jobs.

“But it doesn’t really work like that, because if it’s a serious job you end up just sending two cars with two officers. And then you can increase the fear of crime, because if there are two police cars and a police van outside an address, people think, ‘Oh my God, there must be something really serious going on’. They don’t realise that it’s just two police officers dealing with a job and one that’s come in a van to pick up the suspect. It could be something relatively minor but it looks worse than it is because of the additional vehicles.”

She added that double-crewing helped policing in a number of ways: “There’s so much more to being double-crewed than being able to just go to the job. When you come away from the job you’ve got someone to talk to, to decompress with, to let off steam if you need to. You’ve got some company.

“It actually means you’re more effective if you need to stop-check somebody, or if you come across something suspicious. You’re much more effective double-crewed because one can go one way and one can go the other way. Simple things.

“But I know it massively increases morale when people are double-crewed. You’re more productive and you work better when morale is higher. It doesn’t have to be all the time, 24/7, but when I was a response and patrol sergeant, whenever I could double-crew, I would.”

Zoë added that being with colleagues when attending incidents can help officers’ mental health.

She said: “I remember going to a sudden death, an 80-year-old lady who’d died in a warden-controlled flat. She just died in her sleep, but her son and granddaughter were at the address and the 12-year-old granddaughter was just devastated. The flat was covered in family photos, it was clear she was a lovely person and this was a really sad event for this family.

“Police work-wise, it was very simple. But the colleague I was with and I got in the police car and we looked at each other and both cried because it was just really sad. We said, ‘Let’s go and have a cup of tea before we go to the next job’. Because we were there together, we could support each other. That is a huge part of being in the police, supporting each other through difficult times, sad times, stressful times.”


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