Shropshire Star

Police federation pushes for more access to double crewing to boost morale and protect officers

An association for police officers in the West Mercia region has appealed to the force to increase access to double crewing.

Published

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

West Mercia Police has committed to reviewing its approach to double crewing - sending two crews to an incident instead of a single one - after a meeting with West Mercia Police Federation, a statutory staff association for officers.

In a meeting last week, West Mercia Police Federation branch chair Steve Butler and secretary Pete Nightingale highlighted the positive impacts of double crewing on officers’ morale, their safety, and their productivity.

The Police Federation for England and Wales’s (PFEW) Pay and Morale Survey found that only 11 per cent of West Mercia Police respondents had access to double crewing at all times, compared to 27 per cent nationally.

Results of the survey revealed that the force had the second lowest levels of morale among forces nationwide, with 95 per cent of officers stating their personal morale was low.

Reflecting on these results, Mr Butler said: “The research shows that when officers have more access to double crewing, their morale increases and it has positive effects on their productivity.

Photo: Police Federation

“There is also a reduction in officers being assaulted or injured, which we know is a big issue, with 634 assaults on our officers in the past year.

“At the moment, West Mercia Police are an outlier, according to recent data, in that fewer of our officers are double crewing and we have higher levels of assaults.”

Assistant Chief Constable Grant Wills said: “We recognise the benefits of double crewing and, as we committed to in a meeting with the federation just this week, we will review our current approach.

"We have already begun this work and are pleased the federation have agreed to work in collaboration with us on it.

“We are eager to balance the advantages of double crewing with our commitment to being visible and accessible in the communities we serve.”