Metropolitan Police Federation

Operation Hampshire

Officers Deserve Support And Justice After Assault   When it comes to taking care of police officers after they have been assaulted, Operation Hampshire has one clear aim, according to Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector Dave Brewster. “We want to make sure that our colleagues get the support and justice they deserve no matter where they work,” he told London Beat. “Police officers face confrontation and violence and difficult situations everywhere in the UK. “No matter whereabouts in the UK an assault takes place there should be a professional and consistent response to incidents.” It’s an end goal Chief Insp Brewster and his Operation Hampshire team have been working on at the Met since 2016.   National Focus Now Ch Insp Brewster is set to take Op Hampshire to a more national stage, having been seconded for six months to the College of Policing. He explained: “I would say this is a really positive step for the wider policing family across the country.” “Through some introductions to the Federation, in particular through Ken Marsh, PFEW Firearms Lead Steve Hartshorn and PFEW Wellbeing Lead Belinda Goodwin, I gave some presentations to the Federation’s National Wellbeing Steering Group. “That piqued a bit of interest with other parties, and I was asked to provide a briefing to Chief Constable Andy Rhodes, who is the NPCC wellbeing lead. “He was impressed with what we were doing, and a conversation happened with Mr Rhodes, PFEW Chairman John Apter and Mike Cunningham at the College. “It’s quite timely really because it all coincided with the findings or the recommendations from the Office of Staff Safety Review. “A couple of those recommendations are specifically linked to the supervision of assaults and our response and the investigation of assaults. “So the work we’ve done around Op Hampshire is really relevant to those.”   Changing Landscape The Government is looking to introduce a Police Covenant and there are demands for tougher sentences for those who assault officers, particularly following an increase in attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Ch Insp Brewster said his secondment couldn’t have come at a better time. “It’s almost perfect timing for this to come together,” he explained. “We’ve had discussions about how we could use what we’ve learned in the Met and share some of that good practice in bringing some consistency across the UK. “We haven’t got all of the answers, but we’ve got a comprehensive strategy that covers a lot of the bases: supervision, wellbeing, investigation and criminal justice. “All of those things go to make up the victim’s experience. “We know our strategy, and we’ve been strong with our communication around getting it right, holding people to account and listening to people’s views. “Across the UK there are some forces that have got really comprehensive processes and others that are still working around a seven-point, or eight-point plan. “The idea is that we take what we’ve learned in the Met through having a dedicated team, because we’ve had that privilege of doing that and the benefit of doing that, help others develop their processes and share best practice among all of us.”   Mental Health Focus Ch Insp Brewster said Operation Hampshire had also focused on the psychological impact of officers who had been assaulted. He added: “Mental health has always been entirely relevant aspect, and it folds into the whole wellbeing issue. “Being assaulted doesn’t always necessarily end up in a physical injury, but it’s the impact of an assault that we should be considering as well as the physical injury. “Some of our colleagues are assaulted four, five or six times in a year. That must, or can, have a long-lasting effect on that person. It’s something that we really do need to consider.” Ch Insp Brewster paid tribute to the Operation Hampshire team too. He said: “I couldn’t have wished to employ more committed, intuitive, dedicated people that have helped take Op Hampshire to where it is today.” Metropolitan Police Federation Specialist Operations and Assistant Secretary Kersten Peters said Ch Insp Brewster’s secondment would help officers get the justice they deserve. She said: “I’d like to thank the Met and the College of Policing for agreeing to allow Dave to be seconded. “It means he can continue the fantastic work he has been doing to deliver this nationally, so our members benefit from the support they receive through the changes he has made. “A longer secondment would allow Dave to develop his work for the benefit of all our members so they receive support and justice after being assaulted – whether physical or psychological.”