How the Fed represents officers after a fatal incident

First virtual Memorial Day is a stunning success

The first National Police Memorial Day (NPMD) to be held online has proven a runaway success. In the week following the

broadcast on Sunday 27 September, it was viewed an amazing 105,000 times and a video message of support from HRH The Prince of Wales was viewed by a global audience of 395,000. National Police Chaplain and

NPMD Coordinator, Rev Canon David Wilbraham MBE said: “It was a tremendous team efort and I’ve had so many people tell me how moving and emotive the service was. I’m hugely grateful to everyone who took part, particularly our families. Clearly the service will have to have an online component in future!” The service had been due to take

place at Lincoln Cathedral. When this proved impossible due to the pandemic, Trustees turned to the Federation’s Marketing and Events team to pull out all the stops and create a webcast to do justice to the day. The result was a moving and

powerful service which included personal messages from the families of fallen ofcers as well as contributions from Prince Charles, the Prime Minister, Home Secretary, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and music recorded specially for the event by the British Police Symphony Orchestra.

The service is still available to watch at


A Court of Appeal ruling that police firearms ofcer ‘W80’ can face misconduct proceedings for shooting a suspect dead is being appealed by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW). STEVE HARTSHORN, our National Firearms Lead, talks about what it is like to represent an ofcer in such circumstances

How does a Fed rep even begin to represent an officer involved in a Post Incident Procedure Process that involves a deliberate act by a colleague that subsequently takes a life? It starts with training. We learn the

stages and who to ask for in terms of support and legal help. PFEW only uses the best solicitors who understand the PIP process and misconduct regulations. What may seem like a very simple process could divert into gross misconduct or even criminal proceedings if not enough thought or care is given to dealing with the issues that have taken place or could take place. There is a balance to be struck and a

PIP is about achieving best evidence and looking after those involved. There are times when there may only be three or four people involved and others when there are 40 to 50 or many more. The ongoing support varies from one

job to the next. For some it means repeat journeys to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to respond to further questions and others it means keeping in touch to update officers at the relevant times to see if we can help them or if they have any questions.

Depending on the job, unless it’s no

further action, the options could possibly be misconduct, court, inquest or all three, which is rare but does happen. These cases are seldom quick and are generally the higher in profile in jobs that make the national news. They attract ill-informed comments that bear little or no resemblance about what took place and causes additional stress to those involved. Trying to rebut rumour and deal

with the various media calls is also part of that job.

Steve Hartshorn Reps accompany colleagues to court in

advance of the hearings. We talk to families and friends and explain to court staff what the officers may be going through to see if they can help with a quiet room or private access into court if we have protected identity. It’s also about trying to manage expectations and being there if you can to help address the concerns they may have. Attending court or inquest thinking

you’re going to get a hard time will resonate with many, but officers often feel better for having had a chance to articulate what they did and explain the truth of what took place. The Fed Rep is the pivotal point between the Post Incident Manager and the ongoing process and remains so for as long as it takes. It’s a very rewarding role and one that

remains a vital position in supporting our colleagues.

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