Hampshire Police recruting Police Safety Training ‘Link Officers’ to help drive down assaults

HAMPSHIRE Police is looking for frontline officers to become Police Safety Training ‘Link Officers’ to help drive down assaults at the force.

Currently, officers only see the personal safety training team from Netley once a year, but the Federation wants link officers based in every station.

Zoë Wakefield, Hampshire Police Federation Chair, said: “Colleagues will have extra training in officer safety so that when an officer has been assaulted they can sit down with them and review the body worn video, discuss with them if they think they need any extra training, look at what went well, what maybe didn’t go so well so that they can learn for next time.

“With so many young-in-service officers it’s so important that they get as much input and refreshing on officer safety training stuff, rather than just once a year.”

Zoë called for officers to record every attack they suffer at work to help drive assault numbers down. New crime figures showed a national 26 per cent rise in assaults against emergency workers this month.

She said: “Officers should record every assault on them. I think there’s possibly some education to do with officers on what is maybe an injury that you might sustain arresting somebody who’s resisting, compared to a clear assault where somebody has spat at you or punched you or kicked you.

“But I think people should absolutely be recording all the assaults. We are quite good at recording assaults in Hampshire and we seem to be miles ahead of other forces in terms of the seven-point plan for assaults.”

The plan – called Operation Hampshire – was designed to ensure that officers are treated like any other victim of crime when they are attacked.

Zoë added: “Assault data is invaluable because we can then pick up on patterns and trends. You can see if there’s an officer that’s been assaulted a lot. Or for example in Hampshire we have identified some BME officers that are being racially abused a lot so we can put the necessary support in place for them and look at how we can try and reduce that. So all the data is so useful, and is worth the paperwork that comes along with it.”

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