Lincolnshire Police launches welfare package to support officers and staff who have been assaulted or are victims of crime
Lincolnshire Police has launched a robust process and an enhanced welfare package to support staff and officers who are victims of crime.
The force, working with the Police Federation, says the new process will put the employee at the centre of the investigation, treating them as a victim of crime and thoroughly investigating all offences including physical assaults, sexual assaults, racial abuse or hate crime.
They will also be given a full care package starting directly after the incident, through their recovery, and up to and sometimes beyond any court case. We are looking at increasing our support to officers including the paying of compensation directly to officers, and opportunities for counselling, training or medical support.
Latest figures show that there are more than 400 assaults on officers and staff each year in Lincolnshire, with kicking, spitting and biting among the most frequent types of attack. Officers have also been spat on and coughed at during the Covid-19 outbreak.
In one of the most recent examples,a Detective Constable sustained a fractured skull when a car driven by a man struck her, in Grantham. Other officers suffered whiplash when a suspect deliberately rammed their police vehicle.
For more than a year, senior leaders at the force have worked with the Lincolnshire Police Federation to introduce the new policy, which aims to understand the true scale and number of officer assaults, while re-affirming our commitment to protecting the protectors.
Assistant chief officer Andrew White said: "Any attack on a police officer is not simply an assault, it’s an attack on the rule of law.
“Assaults should never be accepted as simply ‘a part of the job’. And while being a police officer is about sometimes putting yourself at risk of harm to keep the public safe, anyone who is assaulted while on duty can be assured of the full support of the Force at every stage.
“We’re also improving how we investigate assaults, while also working closely with the CPS to press for an increased number of successful prosecutions.
“The vast majority of the Lincolnshire public support their police and recognise the bravery of our officers.The very small minority that believe that they may impede, assault and injure officers will be arrested and investigated with a view to prosecution.Police officers deserve our thanks for the risks they take on a daily basis.”
Inspector Barry Steele, of the Lincolnshire Police Federation, said: “This is something that we have been lobbying very hard for, for the last 18 months.
“We conducted a Taser survey within force last year, which suggested that 57 per cent of our members felt that their life had been in danger at some point in the preceding two years.
“If you go from the last Bank Holiday to now, we are aware of 56 assaults on officers which have included a fractured skull; fractured ribs; a fractured leg; officers being bombarded with bottles; and officers being rammed in a car. It does not make for good reading.
“So we are pleased that our lobbying has resulted in this project being launched.”
Analysis led by Sgt Lee Johnson, who completed a PhD in the subject, will support national work around understanding and preventing assaults, maintaining and adding to the national conversations and looking at collaborations between police forces.
The main aim to improve the safety of officers who should not come to work expecting to face violence and assault.