An increase in the number of violent attacks on police officers has prompted an emergency summit of Chief Constables.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) is set to gather in September to thrash out plans about how to better protect officers from being assaulted on duty.
In recent months, there have been reports of attacks against police using machetes – over and above the punches and kicks they face every day.
And Thames Valley Police officer PC Andrew Harper was killed in the line of duty in July.
At the meeting, chiefs from every force will be asked to give their view on how to deal with the increase in violence.
Writing in his blog for the NPCC website, Chair Martin Hewitt said chiefs have a responsibility to keep their officers safe. Part of that, he said, was to ensure they had access to Taser.
He wrote: “Nothing else we (chief constables) do is as important – because if we can’t protect our people, how can we protect the public?
“Each chief keeps the threats and risks in their force under constant review and ensures that training, equipment, resources and tactics are matched to the nature of local circumstances.
“The recent brutal attacks on officers and the tragic death of PC Andrew Harper remind us all that, even with the right training and equipment, police officers can be vulnerable to the most violent aggressors.
“Levels of violence are an increasing concern across the country, and attacks on our officers have gone up. That’s why chiefs are increasing the number of officers trained to use Taser.
“We’ve recently changed the rules so that student officers, who face the same threats as their colleagues with greater experience, can also be trained to carry Taser – subject to the same rigorous assessment and training process.”
Date posted: September 3, 2019