Post Incident Management and the role of the UNISON Steward

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Conference
2014 Police & Justice Conference
Date
24 June 2014
Decision
Carried as Amended

Conferences notes that the growth of professionalism and membership of Police Staff across the Police Service has led to an increased risk liability in terms of litigation and investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission in relation to deaths or serious injury resulting from police contact.

Police staff fulfil many front facing roles such as Enquiry Officers, Community Support Officers, Detention Officers, Camera Team Operators, Control Room staff and others. Each of these roles carries a very real possibility of playing a part in an incident whereby a member of the public or prisoner might sustain serious injury or death.

Many forces do not have a policy concerning Post Incident Management other than that contained within the College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice Armed Policing Post Deployment guidance. Conference believes that branches should engage with their own Forces and Police Federation colleagues at the earliest opportunity to help formulate policies which protect police staff.

Conference believes that local branches have a role to play in consulting and negotiating with their forces to ensure that they have a proficient PIM policy that enables them quick and unobstructed access to members to give them advice and support at an early stage in the process. Prompt intervention also helps over-intrusive action by investigating officers such as seizing clothing without obtaining suitable replacement clothes and isolating police staff witnesses in interview rooms as if they were arrested suspects.

Training is available to provide an accredited status for stewards to work in this very difficult, demanding and stressful area. The accreditation is necessary to provide the knowledge and credibility necessary to work with senior investigating officers (SIOs) both from forces and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Conference believes that members would be best protected by a national accredited training scheme and therefore instructs the Service Group Executive to investigate the training options available and to promote them to all branches for the wellbeing of their members.