Reduction in safety training hours is “unsatisfactory”

Posted on July 21, 2016 | Category :Uncategorized | Comments Off

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DEVON and Cornwall Police’s decision to reduce the amount of safety training that officers receive is “unsatisfactory”, the local Federation has said.

Chairman Nigel Rabbitts said the Federation was concerned at the reduction in training, but did say that the Federation had helped to improve the content of the training.

He was speaking after a Freedom of Information request revealed that the force provides 12 hours of safety training for officers per year – actually one of the highest figures in England and Wales. However, he said that number had since been reduced.

He said: “It’s quite interesting that they’re saying 12 hours because we’ve just reduced the officer safety training in our force. Officers now get one day a year ‘use of force’ training, and they get one day first aid training – now no way can that day be 12 hours.

“So where that’s come from I’m not sure because that is one of our concerns that officer safety training time is being reduced.

“The content has actually, with our influence, improved. They’ve started to narrow the curriculum and make it more relevant to policing in the streets in Devon and Cornwall. But it’s in no way 12 hours, and I would say that as it is now eight hours. It’s not enough, and everybody knows it’s not enough.”

Mr Rabbitts said that in an ideal world, officers would have monthly safety training refreshers, but realistically the force does not have the resources to implement that.

He explained: “The appropriate amount of training would be a monthly update on use of force techniques, because it’s all about muscle memory. That is never going to happen because there isn’t enough time in the day, and that again reflects the fact that there’s a lack of investment in numbers.

“I think it’s unsatisfactory and of course it’ll be seen as a reflection in the amount that officers are assaulted, I suppose, we’ll have to look at things at the end of a period.

“And again, when we go back to the force, if they are providing an unsafe system of work we will use the legislative powers that we have under the Health and Safety at Work Act to go back to the force and hold them to account.

“I think it is that serious and I think in the next few months we will be looking closely at what can be done through the Health and Safety executives.”