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West Mids Fed warns officers put off public order training

WMP Fed Chair Richard Cooke has told Police Oracle that officers are getting to the point where they don’t want to be public order trained because rest days are being continually cancelled.

Next week’s Tory Party Conference has seen rest days cancelled for West Midlands response and public order officers once again.

It is one of many large events which has resulted in the cancellation of leave days for the force including football matches and the Commonwealth Games.

Richard Cooke has told Police Oracle that he wished the Conservative Party would do more, and possibly contribute to their own security, in order to alleviate the pressure on the force.

“West Midlands operates on a centralised model,” he explained.

“It means we have force wide departments - response, investigation, etc.

“As those in investigation and PPU, for example, are not public order trained, it means there is a certain pool of officers whose rest days are continually cancelled.”

Mr Cooke told Police Oracle that the centralised model came about due to austerity – he also said he believed future CC Craig Guildford would look to return to a neighbourhood policing model.

“We’re getting to the point where officers don’t want to be public order trained because of the demands,” he said.

“This will cause problems in the future unless the force changes the model […] I would like to see a return to omnicomptent bobbies which would mean the demand isn’t concentrated on the same ones.”

West Midlands does not currently enforce the regulation which mandates officers get cancelled leave days back within three months. Mr Cooke explained this was to ensure officers had the choice over when to take their leave days and said it was not something the Fed is currently calling to change.

An FOI request submitted by WMP Fed revealed that as of August 19, rest days in lieu accrued in the last 12 months across the ranks of PC, Sergeant, Inspector and Chief Inspector totalled 54,434. 41,908 of which were for PCs.

It compared with the total number of rest days owed at August 19 which stood at 60,442.

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