Officers struggled with heatwave as buildings overheated

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.”

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