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How we deal with assault and injury on police officers, staff and volunteers

Staffordshire Police has pledged to improve the way we investigate assaults on our officers, staff and volunteers when on duty. This is to make sure they are given the right welfare support and gather learning on how to prevent similar future incidents.

ŒThis seven point plan is supported by the Unison, Police Federation and the Superintendents Association, who have all pledged full support for this. Chief Constable Gareth Morgan said "I am firmly of the view that injury or assault should never be acceptable or seen as the norm and I am proud to 7 point plan posterlaunch this plan that supports our pledge to improve the way we investigate assaults and to prevent similar future incidents."

  1. Assaults on Police Officers and Police Staff should be investigated with the same care, compassion and commitment as an assault on a member of the public. This sounds obvious, but too often our response to assaults on Officers and Staff can be rushed or treated as secondary to other offences.
  2. The Victim Code applies to all victims and therefore to assaults on Police Officers and Staff. Complying with the Victim Code means keeping the victim updated, discussing outcome options and taking account of the victim's point of view before imposing an outcome. This is crucial because we know that we don't always get our response right, with assaulted Officers and Staff reporting dissatisfaction and even resentment.
  3. The assaulted Officer must never be the OIC for the investigation into their own assault. This is not appropriate on any level and even taking statements from witnesses may be inappropriate. The integrity of the investigation and the partiality of the Officer could be called into question, which could undermine the case and/or heighten the impact on the victim.
  4. Victims recover better and more quickly if they receive the right welfare and supervision. This also helps to avoid long-term negative consequences. The assaulted person's supervisor should meet with them as soon as it is practical to do so. The victim may downplay the impact on them, but Supervisors must recognise the potential effects of the incident.
  5. Staffordshire Police sign the 7 point planThe Supervisor must ensure that the Local Command Team / Head of department and the Executive Office are informed to provide continuity of welfare support. The Police Federation or Unison can also provide valuable additional support to the victim 24 hours a day and should be contacted if an Officer is assaulted, injured or hospitalised. The Federation have this agreement in place with the Force and Duty Officers.
  6. To achieve a successful prosecution, the best evidence must be presented. You should use Victim Personal Statements and whoever is investigating the assault needs to fully understand the "points to prove" for assaults on Police Officers or Staff. An Officer's self-written statement, provided straight after the event, could be made in haste and might not contain all of the key facts. As a result, cases sent for prosecution sometimes fail to meet basic evidential needs.
  7. The assaulted Officer and the Supervisor must complete the online Accident Reporting System report. It will not always be possible for the victim to do this, in which case another person can and must complete the report.