HAMPSHIRE Police officers struggled with overheating police buildings and having to wear stifling PPE on the hottest day ever recorded, Hampshire Police Federation has said.
UK temperatures topped 40℃ for the first time ever on 18-19 July, and the national Federation called on Chief Constables to ensure working conditions were reasonable, comfortable and safe.
It said in a statement: “These temperatures present a serious risk of sunstroke, heat stress and sunburn. Working in hot weather can also lead to dehydration, tiredness, muscle cramps, rashes, fainting, and – in the most extreme cases – loss of consciousness.”
Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said: “A lot of our officers struggled with the heat. We’ve got so many police buildings that don’t have air conditioning, in a lot of them the windows don’t even open. I think the temperature inside the police buildings was quite unbearable for some people.
“We managed to keep custody suites cool enough for the prisoners, but for a lot of colleagues it wasn’t great at all.
“Our force’s estates team is looking at our buildings and trying to make some changes. There’s some future-planning going on.”
Bulky PPE was another problem, said Zoë: “You go out on patrol and people say, ‘You must be hot, wearing black’. Yes we are! We’re encouraging officers to take their stab vests off when they can.”