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Police contact incidents seminar helps protect officers

2013 Police Federation Conference, Bournemouth, Dorset, Jason Bye, 15/05/2013Police officers in West Yorkshire are now better prepared to deal with the aftermath of a police contact incident following a seminar in Leeds.

Around 130 officers attended a seminar entitled “Police contact incidents: What would you do?” organised by West Yorkshire Police Federation.

Officers from a variety of backgrounds, including response, neighbourhood policing, operational support and protective services attended to hear advice about what to do should they find themselves scrutinised following a police contact incident.

Any officer can find themselves under investigation if someone is seriously injured or killed following police contact – be it in custody, a collision or out on the beat, said federation vice chairman and discipline lead Ned Liddemore (pictured).

Mr Liddemore said: “The seminar was really, really good. We had some really positive feedback. Police officers who were there got a lot of information out of it – they are now much more aware of what to do and to say if they have been involved in a police contact incident.

“A lot of them wouldn’t have known what they should do otherwise. So this is about protecting them before they have a chance to get legal advice.”

A number of speakers attended the seminar, including police officers who had relevant experience in the area. The seminar helped officers understand what to expect should they be involved in a police contact incident, what their rights are and what course of action they should take if they are investigated.

Officers who attended the free training were asked: “Imagine the scenario; you arrest a prisoner on night shift, book them into custody, go off the next morning, you get a call saying the prisoner has died in custody, this is now a police contact incident, you are asked what happened. Do you give that account to whoever asks or should you seek advice first?”

But Mr Liddemore stressed that police officers should always seek advice before commenting on the case.

He added: “The IPCC will be involved and they will ask them for their account and it is protecting them. If they are involved in this incident then they must seek legal advice before giving an account.”

Date posted: July 3, 2014

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