College of Policing Newsletter, Issue 35 (December 2016)

January

In January, it was announced that officers and staff who investigate domestic abuse would get new face-to-face training in recognising and tackling the offence of coercive control.

The new legislation, which came into force under the Serious Crime Act 2015, meant that those who subjected victims to repeated controlling or coercive behaviour, including threats, humiliation or intimidation, could face up to five years in prison.

We developed a specialist package of face-to-face training to teach frontline police officers, staff and investigators how to recognise a pattern of coercive control behind a report of abuse and secure evidence of this to support a prosecution.
​February

We published new evidence which showed that therapeutic foster care can reduce anti-social behaviour.

The evidence came from one of the many systematic reviews summarised on the College's crime reduction toolkit, designed to provide forces with access to the best available evidence of what works in policing.

The review explored the impact of therapeutic foster care on delinquency and anti-social behaviour outcomes. Therapeutic foster care is provided by foster parents who receive training, in collaboration with teachers and probation officers, to provide a structured environment to promote the learning of emotional skills.
March

In March, we announced a new study would be carried out to look at developing strategies to reduce risk to officers.

Hampshire Constabulary received a grant from the College to fund an initial four-month study of assaults against officers, with a view to extending the work on a national scale.

In addition that month, for the first time, we published national guidance to help officers and staff report concerns about colleagues.

The guidance, developed consultation with the independent whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work, set out the routes officers and staff could take to raise issues and what they should expect from the process.
April

In April, we encouraged officers and staff to volunteer to mentor colleagues through College membership.

Ahead of the launch of the new membership platform, work was taking place to ensure members had access to online resources and services, including career development.

As part of this, the College was actively looking for volunteers to take on a mentoring role to support colleagues with their personal development and career progression.

There was no requirement for mentors to be in a specific role or rank and the scheme was designed to be accessed by members who could then select from a list of mentors, depending on specialty or location, and contact them directly.

In the same month it was announced that a panel of frontline officers would lead a consultation on new national guidance for stop and search.

The guidance was designed to help officers ensure they were using stop and search appropriately and proportionately.

May

In May, a frontline officer seconded to the College described her work and asked officers to think about what the Code of Ethics means to them.

Detective Sergeant Jade Hewitt, of Thames Valley Police, was appointed to assist forces with embedding the code, published in 2014. At the time she was one of more than 70 seconded officers working for the College.

June

Public protection officers and staff were invited to share their experiences at a free event aimed at improving wellbeing.

We announced plans to host the event in London where police officers and staff could share their own experiences and identify what improvements could be made to benefit the frontline.

The work was led by Essex Police Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh, in his role as the chair for our crime and criminal justice community.

Also in June a frontline police officer, a disaster management expert and a Board member at the College were recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Head of joint operations, retired officer Clive Brooks, and the College's mental health lead, Inspector Michael Brown, became Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to policing.

Gloucestershire Police Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, who sits on the College Board of Directors, received the Queen's Police Medal (QPM).

July

We announced that the vast majority of officers across England and Wales were fit after results from nearly 94,000 tests showed a 98 per cent pass rate.

Officers from all 43 forces underwent the fitness test, which have been designed to meet the same physical standard as those used when recruiting officers.

A total of 93,956 tests were taken between September 2014 and August 2015, resulting in a 98 per cent pass rate.

In the same month we published draft guidance which placed an emphasis on the welfare of undercover officers.

The Authorised Professional Practice on undercover policing was put out for consultation, outlining how the tactic should be used to gather legal evidence and intelligence but without giving away any details which could aid criminals.

The draft guidance also made it clear that those working undercover require a safe, secure and confidential environment to receive psychological assessment and mental wellbeing support from qualified practitioners.

August

We supported a review of existing training to ensure officers and staff received the right learning and continuing development opportunities after a rise in recorded hate crimes and incidents were reported following the EU Referendum.

We highlighted that a number of different guidance and learning products were available from the College – including a package aimed at frontline police officers and staff which used video clips to illustrate the impact of disability hate crime on a man with learning and physical disabilities who had been the victim of targeted hostility.

September

In September, we launched the College Bursary Scheme, which gave officers and staff the chance to apply for grants of up to £3,000 a year towards their tuition fees if they wanted to complete higher education studies.  

The scheme was open to all officers and staff in England and Wales and the funding will last for up to two years of study. Anyone who was already studying, or wished to start a course by March 2017, was eligible to apply for funding.

In addition that month, we launched a Professional Development Programme which had a range of products to support officers and staff and allow line managers to support their colleagues.​

October

October was a busy month with new stop and search training and guidance for officers published for the first time.

The training and guidance set national standards for officers and also aimed to give them the confidence to use stop and search powers legally, fairly, professionally and transparently and help them recognise the potential for unconscious bias.

We also published our mental health training for officers, which was designed to assist police when supporting vulnerable members of the public.

The police training and guidance included information to assist officers when responding to calls relating to suicide and bereavements. It also included incidents that involved people with mental ill health, mental vulnerabilities and learning disabilities.

​November

We endorsed two new alternative officer fitness tests in November.

The College's Professional Committee approved the Chester Treadmill Police Walk Test (CTPWT) and the Chester Treadmill Police Run Test (CTPRT), which give forces a choice other than the standard 15-metre Multistage Shuttle Run (15m MSTF) currently used.

All forces in England and Wales will have the option to offer the alternative fitness tests but it will be a local decision for chief officers about whether to do so or not.

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