The initial command and control of the incident can make or break the victim’s experience. With competing priorities on busy operational commands or units the important early activity can get side-lined without effective management. The incident supervisor is responsible for compliance and immediate officer support.
- Ensure victims and witnesses are provided sufficient time to record the incident effectively and accurately.
- Conduct an early wellbeing assessment.
- Identify an officer to take the victim’s statement if necessary.
- Assign an officer to record the crime and ensure a briefing of the facts has been provided.
- Supervise the crime report ensuring the initial details accurately reflect the incident and the most appropriate offence has been outlined.
- Complete the necessary health and safety report (mandatory for assault with injury or potential work related ill health such as spitting) and cross reference with the crime report.
- Liaise with the initial investigator and ensure they understand the evidential requirements.
- Ensure the incident is brought to the attention of the local inspector/secondary supervisor.
Game changing advice – going that extra step
- Don’t underestimate how important your initial care and support is. It can have far reaching effects and can make or break the whole experience.
- Make early personal contact as soon as possible.
- Consider the impact and not just the severity of the assault. This might be the first time a colleague has been assaulted, it might be the third or fourth.
- Check on colleagues who were present, others may be affected.
- Make sure the inspector/secondary manager is briefed about the incident and response.
- Make sure the person tasked with the initial investigation understands that victim care is equally as important for our colleagues as it is for members of the public.
- A hot de-brief can help everyone with a better understanding particularly the investigator and the person capturing the victim’s statement.