Police officers are being urged not to panic and to not rush their statements should they be involved in a Post Incident Procedure (PIP).
Gloucestershire Police Federation says it is there to support and help officers should the worse happen and someone die or be seriously injured following police contact.
It’s important officers have a chance to pause and reflect on the incident before committing their thoughts to paper, Chairman Mike Harrison said.
“It’s about getting an accurate picture of what happened, it’s not about rushing statements.
“We’ve had incidents where officers have been involved in fatal collisions and they’ve been asked to give statements before they’ve gone off-duty, that just shouldn’t happen.
“The officers themselves are going through a very traumatic experience. Yes, we’re professional police officers, but we’re still human beings and we still react the same that any other member of the public would react,” he added.
Officers minds can be ‘muddled’ straight after the stress of an incident, Mike said, and that research showed that 48 hours after the incident can be the best time to record what happened.
“They may not remember certain things about what’s happened just after the event,” he said.
“There’s a four-stage process, after the situation report from the scene you then have the basic facts where someone just tells the PIP manager what’s happening.
“An officer’s personal, initial account is a very, very short initial account to help the investigators, be it the local CID who may be running a parallel investigation for a criminal offence. Certainly, the IOPC know each officer’s role and their circumstances during the incident.
“So, it’s about what their role was at that incident, and what their honestly held belief was about any threat that was made and what was witnessed.
“After a period of about 48 hours their mind has settled, they’ve had a chance to get the rest they need, and the research shows that a period of 48 hours gives them a chance to just remember as much detail of the incident, and there’s things you won’t remember straight away that after 48 hours you will remember,” Mike added.
The Federation, he said, will help at every stage of the process.