The severity of injury on a colleague is important but we also need to consider the impact on the individual, the service and the public. When a colleague is assaulted they deserve the right to know that the offence is being taken seriously and that every effort will be made to hold the offender to account. A thorough investigation demonstrates to the victim that we are taking them seriously and sends a wider message to would be offenders that we will take action.
An integral role in the process, the investigating officer should be independent of the incident and appointed with due consideration to the severity of the incident. They will take initial responsibility for compiling the victim’s statement and will provide advice to ensure best evidence is captured. They will provide progress updates to the victim and/or supervisors as per the Victims' Code of Conduct (VCOP). They will ensure that an impact statement is drafted and included in the case file. They will ensure that clear rationale is recorded for disposal decisions.
- Complete the officer/victim’s statement in line with local policy.
- Provide evidential advice and identify the most appropriate offence.
- Consider the victims welfare and victim status.
- Maintain investigation updates as per VCOP.
- Compose a well-structured victim personal statement.
- Complete chief constables organisational impact statement template.
- Update the welfare officer regularly if one has been appointed.
- Take into account the victim’s view before imposing an outcome.
- Support the VRR process.
Game changing advice
- Your colleague is a victim of crime and you can make a real difference to their experience. Make early contact with them and let them know you are taking things seriously.
- Put yourself in their shoes and do your best to support a successful prosecution. Take the approach that any assault on a colleague is an assault on us all. It is not and should never be acceptable.
- Good evidence takes time. In the victim’s statement, clearly set the scene and explain the legitimacy of their actions. This is more than simply being 'on duty'. It needs to be clear what they were doing and why they were doing it (see Criminal Justice guidance).
- Treat every statement as if you are explaining the very basics, step by step. Use the 5 part structure if it assists.
- Provide regular updates.
- Answer your CPS memos promptly, they will help a successful prosecution. Cases are dropped when we do not respond to memos.