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NEWS


set for national roll-out Police officers will be better supported if they are the victim of assault, thanks to an initiative pioneered by the Federation’s National Chair John Apter. Mr Apter designed a


Seven-Point Plan while in his previous role as Chair of Hampshire Police Federation which, following a successful campaign by PFEW, is being rolled out to 43 forces through the College of Policing.


‘Operation Hampshire’ aims to usher in a ‘culture change’ and greater consistency across forces. It contains the principle that assaults on police officers should be treated with the same care, compassion and commitment as an assault on a member of the public. Officers should be given the right welfare


supervision; they should not be investigating an assault on themselves; and best evidence must be presented, including a Personal Victim Statement. Chief Inspector David Brewster, who launched the project at the Metropolitan Police Service, is seconded to the College to lead on the national delivery of the project. He said: “This is about the officers on the ground who do the job. The ultimate objective of this is to make sure our colleagues get the support and justice they deserve. It’s important to have consistency. No matter where in the country assaults take place there should be a similar response and similar levels of support. “We also need to look at the data carefully and consider what else it tells us and what we can learn from it. It shouldn’t come down to individual supervisors’ views or experiences to determine whether you get a decent response. There should be a procedure everyone follows, and the process should be the same.” Operation Hampshire encourages closer working with the Crown Prosecution Service to understand where assault cases have failed in court and how improvements can be made going forward to achieve justice for colleagues. Mr Apter said: “This is about making sure that officers


and staff who are assaulted are treated as a victim should be – that they are kept updated and informed, not only by the investigation team but the wider criminal justice system. It’s about learning lessons and getting the right support in place. That could be psychological support, management, or all sorts of things. It’s about how we interact with charities, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. “When it was adopted by the Met, the then Commissioner Sir Bernard (now Lord) Hogan-Howe, said ‘I’m going to steal your ideas but I’ll give you the credit for them’ and that’s why they called it Operation Hampshire. That means a lot to me of course, but there’s a lot riding on it. It can’t be a tick box exercise.” Last year there were 30,679 assaults on police officers in England and Wales which is 84 a day.


‘Operation Hampshire’


VIEW FROM THE CHAIR


In October we marked Hate Crime Awareness Week and Black History Month. It is sobering to think that intolerance and hate are everyday realities for many of our members. Progress has been made, but these are steps along


a very long road. Prejudice and inequality will not disappear overnight. And in recent months we’ve seen there are still deep divisions in our society. The Federation is there for all our colleagues, but


we accept that sometimes that is not how it may feel. This must change. Good progress has already been made, but I accept this has not been quick enough. One of my priorities has been to push for proper


monitoring of hate crimes directed at police officers. I am pleased that some forces are now recording the hate crime element of offences, but this needs to be more consistent and a ‘must do’, rather than an option. We’ve also had National Inclusion Week, World


Mental Health Day, National Menopause Day and Dyslexia Awareness Week, reminding us that we are all unique. And while some differences are more visible than others, every officer brings different perspectives and skills to the role and all are equally valuable. As a middle-aged white man, I worry that my


views on race and diversity are not credible as I’ve not walked in the shoes of others – how can I understand the lived experiences of BAME officers? That’s why I’m so grateful to colleagues who have stepped forward to help me to understand and to share their unique perspectives on p7 and p8. We are also busting some of the myths around HIV (p19) and in the Chair Asks, I’m talking with Sir Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary on a number of issues, and yes, I even ask about the uniform! Stay safe, and I hope you enjoy the edition.


John Apter National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales


NOVEMBER 2020 | POLICE | 05


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