Welcome to the area of the PFOA website dedicated to female Authorised Firearms Officers.
This area of the site is very much in its infancy, and we would like to invite you to contact us with information you would like to share on the site with your female colleagues across all UK forces including Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), Ministry Of Defence Police (MDP) and the National Crime Agency (NCA).
One of Trustee's Jim Roger is currently working on developing a National Female AFO Forum. The PFOA is a member Association that provides a network of support and friendship for Police Firearms Officers and all other officers involved in operational firearms operations within the United Kingdom.
Jim is aware that across the country there is still significant under representation of female AFO's. There have been a number barriers identified, real and perceived, that are directly impacting on both recruitment and retention of female AFO’s Nationwide. These include; lack of positive role models, limited support, feeling of isolation and equipment issues.
It is hoped that the forum will help in providing support, advice, guidance and mentoring to females working in or wishing to embark on a career in firearms. It can be used to discuss and share experience and questions and share best practice for example relating to equipment that has found to be more user friendly for female officers.
The forum will also provide an opportunity to provide details of officers who are working within Armed Policing at all levels, who are willing to share their experiences. Our very own Executive Committee member Chief Inspector Michelle Booth, Gwent Police, will be first to appear on the site.
On Friday 6th March 2015, at the Scottish Police College, Jim will facilitate the first meeting of Police Scotland's female AFO's. ACC Bernie Higgins and Chief Superintendent Elaine Ferguson, Operational Support Division and Armed Policing along with Sarah Wood of the Scottish Woman's Development Forum (SWDF) will also be present.
This meeting is a couple of days ahead of the International Woman's Day on Sunday 8th March 2015. The meeting will reflect this years theme of 'Make It Happen!' We will look to address the previously identified barriers and immediately improve on the amount and quality of support available. It is hoped that throughout the day there will be engagement on Twitter using #FemaleAFOsMakingItHappen - to open it up to a wider audience.
It is hoped that these meetings will be beneficial and therfore replicated across the country, resulting in everyone working together to create an environment where people can achieve their real potential.
Strength Through Support
PFOA Trustee & Police Scotland Force Coordinator
Twitter. PFOA in Scotland @_PFOA_