18 May 2017
Better protection, support and resources are needed for police officers in today’s climate of severe threats and rising demand.
That’s the key message behind Above and Beyond, a 60-minute news and current affairs-style programme, produced by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) and ITN Productions.
Presented by national newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, it covers a range of policing subjects including officer welfare and assaults, specialist units such as firearms and marine units, as well as budget cuts and how forces are having to work smarter and collaborate to cope with demand.
The film features contributions from West Midlands and West Yorkshire Federations, who brought members to Westminster to illustrate the impact of assaults on officers, which according to estimates in a PFEW Welfare survey, are happening at a rate of one every four minutes.
It also includes an interview with the then MP for Halifax Holly Lynch who tabled a Bill in the House of Commons seeking harsher sentences and tougher punishment for those who assault officers. The filming picks up on the federation’s Protect the Protectors’ campaign which is also calling for measures like the wider roll out of spit guards.
Chair Steve White, interviewed in the programme, said: “We have got to have a proper deterrent. Assaults and attacks on police officers need to carry the full weight of the law.” He also called for adequate resources and protection for officers at a time of continuing budget constraints and heightened threats.
Speaking following the Westminster terror attack where PC Keith Palmer was murdered and three other officers injured, Mr White said: “We used to say it’s not if but when; now it’s not if or when but where next? We have got to make sure that police officers have absolutely the best equipment, best resources and the best capability to deal with this level of threat.
“I think Westminster certainly brought home to many people the daily risks that police officers have to contend with. We need to ensure there are the proper levels of protection and resources for those who run towards danger while others run away.”
Above and Beyond also includes a special firearms report featuring interviews with national firearms lead DCC Simon Chesterman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Police Firearms Officers’ Association’s chief executive Mark Williams and PFEW’s firearms lead Che Donald. It investigates the impacts on the recruitment and retention of trained firearms specialists by the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s draft Guidelines on post-incident procedure separation, as well as the effects of the job on firearms’ officers’ mental health and welfare.
Kent Police’s Search and Marine Unit highlight their work patrolling, searching and protecting our coasts every day. With 535 miles of peninsular coast to cover, their work is cut out in these times of austerity and the unit makes the best of collaboration with other agencies to mitigate the threats. Other segments of the film showcase new equipment and technology in sponsored news-style reports.
Simon Shelley, Head of Industry News, ITN Productions, said: “ITN Productions has been delighted to partner with the Police Federation, to bring to chart the evolving role of the police force along with the challenges and dangers faced by officers. We hope these important stories and vital themes are sheared and engaged with as means of shaping the future of policing in our country – ultimately supporting and protecting our protectors.”
About ITN Productions
ITN Productions is ITN’s bespoke production hub producing creative and commercially valuable content for the business, commercial, broadcast and digital sectors. Industry News forms part of this offering and is a communications tool for leading industry bodies and national associations produced in a broadcast news programme format, including interviews, news items and sponsored editorial profiles.