Members are being urged to send in their views on draft new guidance concerning deaths and serious injuries (DSI) following police contact on non-firearms incidents.
The College of Policing has opened a consultation on the proposed post-incident procedures (PiPs) following a lengthy campaign by the Federation.
Federation vice chair Che Donald said: “This is great news for our members. We have been calling for this new guidance for several years now to give officers greater protections if they are involved in any non-firearms related incidents involving a death or serious injury. The issue has also been highlighted at our PiPs seminars.
“Unfortunately, what tends to happen at the moment is that the firearms guidance is adapted for other incidents. It is not designed for this purpose and the failure to provide appropriate guidance for non-firearms-related DSI’s puts our members at risk.
“I appreciate that this is only the start of the process but it shows the College has been listening to our concerns. The door is open and we are one step closer to getting what we want.”
Historically the number of non-firearms fatalities involving police by far outweigh the numbers for police shootings.
In 2016/17 there were six fatal police shootings but in the same period there were:
• 32 road traffic fatalities
• 14 deaths in or following police custody
• 55 apparent suicides following police custody
• 124 other deaths following police contact that were independently investigated by the then Independent Police Complaints Commission
Mr Donald said: “The ratio of firearms to non-firearms related deaths and serious incidents demonstrates the urgent need for this new guidance.”
He said the consultation is open to all members and urged everybody to get involved. The Federation is currently reviewing the draft guidance and will make its own submission.
The new DSI Authorised Professional Practice (APP) will provide guidance on post-incident procedures, management, welfare and legal issues. It outlines the provision of accounts by officers and staff in a broadly chronological manner, provides responsibilities for key roles and sets out approaches to organisational learning and debriefing.
The consultation on the draft DSI APP runs until 14 August 2018.