Police Bravery Awards – July 2017

polfed.org/bravery

Find out more at www.polfed.org/bravery


Two West Mercia officers who tackled a man who had doused himself in petrol

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PC Steven BLOOMER (left) and PC Phil PARKE (right)

Two West Mercia officers who tackled a man who had doused himself in petrol have been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award.

PC Philip Parke and PC Steven Bloomer of West Mercia Police braved the risk of being set on fire in order to rescue a woman from her violent ex-husband.

The officers went to an address in Telford on 25 March 2015 where a woman’s screams had been heard. They discovered the suspect inside, armed with a can of petrol. He had doused himself and his victim and was threatening to burn the house down.

PC Bloomer rushed to the man, preventing him from striking a match and released the woman from his grip. PC Parke sprayed him with PAVA and, after a violent struggle, the two officers managed to subdue him. Both officers suffered minor cuts and chemical burns that required hospital treatment and the female victim had suffered significant chemical burns.

It transpired her ex-husband was on bail for raping her. He later pleaded guilty and was convicted for attempted murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Chair of the West Mercia Police Federation, Russ Yeomans, said: “These officers showed supreme courage in tackling this man, knowing full well that petrol could have ignited at any moment. The victim said later that there is no doubt in her mind that she would have been killed had they not arrived when they did.”

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“We went in and we could see that there was blood and glass all over the floor, petrol had been strewn all over the kitchen.”

PC Steven Bloomer and PC Philip Parke describe the moment they attended the call which resulted in their nomination for a #PoliceBravery award.

PC Bloomer: “We were sent to a domestic related incident in the Stirchley area of Telford. When we arrived, the gentleman was on the driveway, telling us to go down the side of the house. He was the gentleman who had called us, and said there’s obviously something going on. Next door he heard mayhem, chaos etcetera. We went through a narrow alleyway, in between the two houses, and we could see that the door had been smashed in. The blind was blowing in the wind.”

PC Parke: “The venetian blind, yes”

PC Bloomer: “We went in and we could see that there was blood and glass all over the floor, petrol had been strewn all over the kitchen. And stood there, literally, in the kitchen about ten yards away, was a guy. He had his arm around a lady like this, he’d covered himself in petrol, her in petrol, and he was there with matches, trying to light them. At which point we decided to go in and tackle the guy, pull the said lady away, didn’t we? She made her escape across all the glass, cut her feet to ribbons, but she was taken care of by the paramedics. We ended up having a bit of a roll around with this guy, he didn’t want to come in. And he was restrained, arrested and detained.”

When asked if they would do the same thing again, this is what they had to say..

PC Parke: “Absolutely. Obviously it’s part of our duty. We didn’t know what we were going to go into on that particular day in question, and we did exactly what all of our colleagues around the country would have done. When faced with a situation like that you have to react and you have to get involved, so absolutely.”

And how proud were they to be nominated for the award..

PC Parke: “Very proud indeed.”

PC Bloomer: “Yes very proud. It’s a pleasure to be here. Good time. We’re amongst a lot of police officers here who have all done extremely brave things. Like Phil said, it’s something that we are very proud to be here, but we’re also proud to be with all the other people here as well, because it’s a fantastic occasion, it’s a pleasure. But we don’t want to overemphasise the fact that we are here, amongst other police officers as well, and we’re all very proud to be here, not just us. It’s a great honour.”

Officers reluctant to seek help for mental health

More needs to be done to tackle the stigma associated with mental health and wellbeing in the police service.

The Federation’s recent officer welfare, demand and capacity survey looked at the effects of working under increased pressure, the ability to cope and opinion on organisational support.

  • 65% of respondents said they had still gone to work despite feeling they shouldn’t have due to their mental wellbeing
  • 51% of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement, ‘The police service encourages its staff to openly talk about mental health and wellbeing’
  • 57% of respondents indicated that they would NOT feel confident disclosing any difficulties with mental health and wellbeing to their line managers

See more on polfed.org

Fatigued officers struggle with work-life balance

Demands on police time is not abating and this is having a detrimental effect on officer work-life balance.

Physical wellbeing was a focal point in our recent officer welfare, demand and capacity survey.  Looking specifically at fatigue, health, activity and diet, the survey found:

  • 33% (one third) of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that fatigue had made it difficult to carry out certain duties and responsibilities at work
  • 56% agreed or strongly agreed that fatigue had interfered with family or social life
  • 65% reported their overall physical health to be good or very good
  • 68% indicated that they had a somewhat, very or extremely healthy and balanced diet
  • 24% reported having engaged in the recommended 30 minutes of exercise on five or more days over the last week

See more on polfed.org

Police officers are human and they need to rest and refuel if they are to do a proper job

Russ Yeomans1

Rest breaks are essential, says chairman

West Mercia Police Federation is concerned that more than half of our members say they are never or rarely able to take a full rest break during their shift, Federation Chairman Russ Yeomans has said.

“That’s 56% of police officers who say they are unable to take their full rest break entitlement. And let us remember that it is an entitlement,” Russ added.

“Police officers are human and they need to rest and refuel if they are to do a proper job.

“This figure, which came from the PFEW Officer Demand, Capacity and Welfare Survey, published in January, concerns me.

“If more than half of our members are saying they are unable to take their full rest break, this may go some way to explaining levels of stress related illness. A whopping three quarters of respondents to the survey reported stress, low mood and anxiety in the same survey.

“We need to focus on some of the lower level support for officers. It is as simple as making sure officers are taking their meals. We need to make sure supervisors and managers are looking out for officers and making sure they are taking breaks. If they do not, this will undoubtedly affect performance.

“Hungry officers’ tolerance levels will be lower. Tired officers will not be able to deliver a good service to the public.

“We need to look at the workload we are carrying and as an organisation we need clear priorities. We cannot do everything and the organisation has to respect the fact that with less cash, fewer officers and growing demand, officers can only do so much.

“But it is also up to the officers themselves. I urge our members to highlight when you have too much work – 66% of respondents told us their workload is too high. If this is you, tell your supervisors, tell your managers.

“They say an army marches on its stomach, and you cannot do a good job if you are overworked, tired and hungry.”

Thin Blue Line – Tag Heuer Watch

TAG Heuer joins forces with the United Kingdom British Police Service.

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This is the first time that a high end Swiss watch maker has done something like this for the Police Service.

It is called ‘Thin Blue Line’ and has been released by Tag Heuer to recognise the very significant contribution made to public service by those in policing.

https://www.tagheuer.com/en-gb/news/tag-heuer-joins-forces-with-the-united-kingdom-british-police-service

It will only available in this country and only through a single jeweler that Tag have partnered with for this project: Andrew Michaels (AMJ) Jewelers of Newark.

https://amjwatches.co.uk/

https://en-gb.facebook.com/amjwatchesuk/

Only those who currently serve or those that have served as officers, police staff or volunteers in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland are eligible to purchase the watch and appropriate validation checks will be made. (more…)

Body-worn video ‘long overdue’

Body-worn video

The rollout of body-worn cameras to all frontline officers in West Mercia is necessary and long overdue, the Chairman of West Mercia Police Federation has said.

Russ Yeomans was speaking after PCC John Campion announced he would be spending £1 million on rolling out the technology during 2017 in a joint deal with Warwickshire.

Firearms officers and Taser-trained officers will be the first to get them.

Russ said: “It is a necessary piece of equipment that’s been long overdue and we’re glad to see that, finally, technology within the police service in West Mercia is being updated and upgraded to present levels elsewhere.

“Officers are subject to a number of complaints that are often quite frivolous – the fact that the incident will be recorded by the officer would allow a quick investigation to take place. That reduces the amount of time that’s being wasted investigating these complaints and allow officers to get on with their work in a better, more timely fashion.”

Russ also believes that the technology will help to keep officers safe on the streets and less likely to be assaulted.

He added: “Generally speaking, research shows that when people know they’re being recorded their behaviour towards police officers change.

“I would hope that in time this will result in a reduction in assaults on police officers, and linking into that the reduction of days sick that officers face as a result of being assaulted.

“What this should also do is reduce the amount of not guilty pleas and increase the amount of early guilty pleas when evidence has been clearly captured on video. It should reduce officers’ time being wasted going to court unnecessarily.”

West Mercia Services Holiday Home

We are pleased to announce we are now in a position to begin taking bookings for the West Mercia Services holiday home,
22 The Watermark, Lusty Glaze Road, Newquay.

The opening date will be the 3rd March 2017 and bookings can now be made throughout the year. Currently we are only able to take bookings through the office…. Telephone 01905 744500 or email: staff@wmpf.polfed.org

For information;-

The property is located on the edge of the North Cornwall resort town of Newquay, with its fantastic coastal scenery and beautiful sandy beaches. Newquay itself is the surfing capital of Europe, Padstow is only 12 miles up the coast, and the cathedral city of Truro is 15 miles away.

The property is situated in 17 acres of private headland within the grounds of the Glendorgal Hotel. There is direct access to Porth Beach, Lusty Glaze beach and the coastal path from the grounds of the hotel. Occupants can use the bar and restaurant within the hotel and for a small charge the gym and indoor pool facilities. The property has three bedrooms, all ensuite, sleeping 6 with a spacious and fully equipped lounge/diner/kitchen and private outdoor space Unfortunately it is not wheelchair friendly.

The property has its own parking space with extra parking available.

Photographs and a list of agreed prices are shown below. For contributing members of the Federation there will be a 10% discount, and a 25% discount for members who are also contributing members of the Group Scheme.

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Bookings high season are of a weeks duration, outside of this period short breaks are available. Weekly bookings run from Friday to Friday.

Full details can be obtained from contacting the office.

 

Click here or the table below for HOLIDAY PRICES 2017

Holiday Prices 2017

Protect the Protectors – Assaults on Police Officers

This is copied from the national Federation November e-bulletin…

police assaults

Protect the Protectors

We are launching the ‘Protect the Protectors’ campaign, the first part of which is to ensure that if you are assaulted on duty it gets recorded properly on your force’s crime recording system. Whether you are spat at, or attacked in a more serious way, the campaign is to ensure officers who are assaulted are properly supported (by forces and feds).

We were involved in MP Holly Lynch’s Police Officer Safety debate in Parliament last month and continue to lobby government through our Parliamentary Working Group in efforts to get a change in the law for tougher sentences.

Thank you to everyone who has been in touch so far with their experiences of being assaulted, we need as much information as possible from you to build an accurate picture and add weight to the campaign.  Please get in touch by emailing: communications@polfed.org

Read more about our work.

Police Tattoos – PFEW survey

This is copied from the national Federation November e-bulletin…

police tattoos

Police Tattoos

Thank you to all of you who took part in the survey around tattoos or contributed to the debate.

The research work is now done and the results of both the public and the police officer surveys have now been published. Overall 48% of you who responded said they had a tattoo, 17% which was visible when in uniform, while 81% of the public who responded said that dealing with an officer with a tattoo had no effect on their confidence in that officer. A small national working group is now using the results in order to draft some national guidance on the matter and all chiefs have already been written to.

You can read more about the results on our website: www.polfed.org.