Gloucestershire Police Federation is working with the force to update its 7-Point Plan designed to tackle officer assaults.
Officers who’d been the victims of assaults, officers who’d been involved in the prosecution of those who carried out assaults and other members of the force, attended the first meeting in January.
Ian White, Secretary of Gloucestershire Police Federation, was at the meeting. He said: “We wanted to review how we prevent, investigate, prosecute and support. No officer should expect to come to work and be assaulted, but unfortunately it’s a reality in today’s policing environment.
“Ideally we want to prevent assaults occurring, so part of the strategy is to improve things like single-crewing, the availability of prisoner transport vans, and training officers to use personal protection equipment.”
Ian also said it was vital to collect the best evidence in the case of an officer assault, so that that the courts were given every chance to hand offenders the heaviest sentence possible.
He welcomed the new guidelines from the Crown Prosecution Service for magistrates, judges and prosecutors to seek the maximum sentence for those who assault emergency service workers.
He said: “Last year the legislation was updated so that assaults on police officers and emergency workers were doubled, but we’re not seeing the maximum sentence handed down on a regular enough basis, which is disappointing. We’d like the courts to exercise the full range of their powers to act as a deterrent to those who think it’s acceptable to assault an emergency worker.”
A further meeting in February will flesh out recommendations to update and improve the plan. Ian said the Federation wanted to get the message out to officers that it’s important the 7-Point Plan is adhered to in all circumstances.
He said: “Our Chief Constable has a passion about supportive leadership and wellbeing and this is being driven by him as much as it is by the Federation. We’re really keen to support our brave officers and police staff members who are out there putting themselves in danger on a regular basis.”