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Lack Of Testing And PPE Are Critical Concerns

A lack of testing and PPE continue to be critical concerns for officers on the frontline, PFEW Operational Lead Simon Kempton (pictured) has told the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Other issues include ensuring police officers get clear communication and advice on their new powers and how they can remain safe when dealing with Covid-19 on the frontline.

“It’s about having access to PPE kit when and where they need it, making sure it’s the right spec and that it’s replenished in a timely fashion,” Simon told the Committee by remote video conferencing.

“Testing is very important to [police officers] not just for the sake of their own health, but also because it impacts on their families.
“And with the new police powers and legislation in place, they want clear and consistent advice from the Chief Officers and the Government.”

PPE is getting to forces, but distribution once it’s there needs to be improved, Simon said. And he wants to see more explicit guidance on its use coming from the top.

“Local-level management need to be better in managing stocks. Late shifts are missing out because it’s not there when they get to work. There’s also been some conflicting advice on PPE from the Health and Safety Executive and Public Health England, so again it’s about the consistency of communications.”

Chief Superintendent Paul Griffiths, President of the Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales, was also on the video call.

He said the NPCC had put in orders for Covid-19 testing kits and hoped they would be ready this month, while a “lot of energy” had been put behind resolving the PPE issue.

Date posted: May 1, 2020

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