Monday, 1 October 2007

The Keystone cops

News article filed by BNP news team

The Health and Safety fascists in Britain’s town halls are undermining what respect is left for the country’s police as forces around the country conduct health and safety reviews.

Police officers in Devon and Cornwall are being instructed not to offer help to a struggling non-swimmer and that even a life belt must not be thrown without a "dynamic risk assessment" being carried out. Where possible, rescues should be left to other emergency services.

Rules for West Country officers are set out in a policy document headed Health and safety – water safety, which states: "Devon and Cornwall Constabulary do not expect or require any member of staff to enter water in a rescue attempt of any person or animal under any circumstances.

"Life-saving equipment such as life-belt, throw line, throw bag or buoyancy aid may be used where such use is in accordance and compliance with dynamic risk assessment procedures… Physical contact with a struggling casualty should be avoided to prevent a rescuer becoming overwhelmed and pulled into the water and submerged.

"The task of rescuing members of the public, or animals, from water lies primarily with other emergency services that are equipped and trained to undertake such tasks."

Graeme Hicks, a member of Devon and Cornwall Police Authority, said he would raise concerns about the guidelines with senior officers. He said: "It's quite unbelievable that a police officer could walk past an incident like that and ignore it. If a child drowned in Cornwall in those circumstances, we would come under criticism, and it concerns me that there are policies like this in place."

A force spokesman said: "No organisation can expect staff to risk their lives. However, the force has reported many instances where staff have saved people."

200 miles north officers in Staffordshire are told in their training that "red mist is dynamic risk assessment's worst enemy". They are taught that "high risk areas" include chasing suspects, domestic incidents, road accidents, searching people, or any situation involving fire or water.

Examples can be revealed of how health and safety concerns prevent the emergency services from doing their job:

•In the Dorset case, police were called to a fight on a yacht, in which initial reports suggested that someone had suffered a heart attack. The Swanage lifeboat offered to take police to the scene, but when two officers turned up at the jetty with a defibrillator after 15 minutes, they were instructed via radio not to board the boat. John Gilmour, a lifeboatman, said: "They told us they couldn't come because they hadn't done a sea survival course. They were made to look pathetic. What a mad world."
•Vandals spent two days daubing graffiti on a derelict building in Bristol, using ladders and 15ft rollers, after police decided it was unsafe to enter.
•Foot patrols were withdrawn from the hamlet of Cerney Wick, Gloucestershire, because its narrow lanes have no pavements.
•A new fire station in Plymouth, Devon, was built without a traditional pole. Firefighters use stairs instead to avoid the risk of hand or ankle injuries.

Many experienced beat officers are furious at the expansion of risk-averse attitudes by their superiors and civilian regulators. One Essex based sergeant told the BNP news team that helping others was the “number one priority” and recalls his training days in the last 70s where one of the first activities was to swim 20 yds in full uniform in the police college swimming pool to perform a simulated rescue.

He added:

“Non-swimmers just weren’t allowed into the force or they learned pretty quickly. How can we expect members of the public to help us if we aren’t supposed to help them? It is difficult enough winning the trust of the members of the public without this kind of nonsense.”

Source: Daily Telegraph

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