BTB Policing more than just a job

Working for the police isn't your average nine till five.

Wiltshire Police officers, staff and volunteers get to see the best and the worst of our communities on a daily basis.

As part of the Force's summer-long Beyond the Beat campaign, this week they will be highlighting some of the best elements of working for the police and some of the worst, including being assaulted on duty.

In the past year assaults on officers have almost doubled, from 55 in 2016/17 to 103 in 2017/18.

This is something that is reflected throughout the South West and Wiltshire Police has systems, training and equipment in place to combat this threat whilst continuing to keep the public safe.

Throughout this week, the role of lesser-known police jobs will also be explored such as negotiators, family liaison officers (FLOs), dog handlers and force incident managers (FIMs), as well as highlighting some of the police work which goes on behind the scenes.

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said that although most assaults on staff and officers were minor, any violence at all should not be tolerated.

He said: "As recent events have shown, our officers, staff and volunteers put themselves in danger responding to incidents with limited information on a daily basis.

"They continuously run into danger whilst others run away. I speak to officers on a near daily basis that have been assaulted or abused on duty.

"Facing this type of treatment simply because you work for the police is disgraceful and there should be no excuse or tolerance of it.

"As a Force we are now working on introducing additional measures to ensure that our officers have increased protection going forward and are adequately supported when they become victims themselves."

Additional measures being explored include spit and bite guards, enhanced Taser numbers and a seven point assault plan supporting officers and staff abused and assaulted on duty.

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: "As with any job there are highs and lows, but being injured and abused on duty should not be part and parcel of working for the police.

"It's paramount that the law protects our officers, staff and volunteers whilst they're protecting us.

"There are a number of proposals currently working their way through parliament including the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill to recognises these types of assaults as specific offences and Finn's Law which would offer greater protection to police service animals.

"I am thoroughly committed to ensuring that whilst the police serve our communities to keep them safe that we should do the same in return and recognise the additional risk in their jobs."


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