31 July 2017
A survey of our members’ views on the routine arming of police officers launches today.
A link to the national survey, our first on routine arming in over a decade, is being sent via email directly to our 123,000 members across England and Wales via their Police National Network (PNN) email accounts.
Che Donald, our national lead for firearms, said: “The routine arming of police officers has attracted much speculation and attention from our members, the public and the media, as highlighted recently following the cowardly acts of terror committed in the UK. The police service has also seen significant reductions in officer numbers resulting in many working in isolation or single crewed, increasing the risks to them personally.
“Policing has changed significantly over recent years, not just around the types of crime we are dealing with and greater use of technology, but also the threat, harm and risk to the public and our officers. This survey seeks to determine the views of our members to inform our position on the issue of routine arming. Over the last few years a handful of forces have been surveyed individually on this issue, but we are keen to establish a fresh national view.”
In 2006, we surveyed over 141,000 police officers on issues including safety, training, workload and routine arming:
• 55.3% of responders stated that they were fairly satisfied that armed support was readily available should they require it;
• 18.5% felt that all police officers should receive appropriate training and be armed on duty but not off duty; and
• 47.3% felt that firearms should not be issued to all police officers, but more officers should receive appropriate training and be issued with firearms as and when necessary.
In a recent national survey of officers and a separate survey of Metropolitan police officers, there was significant support for the availability of Taser from those who responded, 82% and 75% respectively. A public survey in December 2016 further outlined support for the device with 71% of respondents considering it acceptable for police officers to carry Taser when on patrol.
A demand, capacity and welfare survey of officers across England and Wales in 2016 also outlined officer’s desire for increased double-crewing and further availability of body worn video.
Please note: The survey closes on 1 September 2017 with results expected later in the month. The link is not being shared on social media to protect the integrity of the data.
Are you a member who wants to take this survey? To maintain the integrity of the data collected, we are working to ensure the survey is only completed by police officers, therefore it is only available via our email or if you contact your local Federation.