A Roads Policing Advisor from the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) says the Tactical Pursuit Managers Course run by the East Midlands Operational Support Service is one of the best in the country.
Alan Jones is a retired police inspector who has worked in roads policing for most of his police career. He was the national roads policing lead for the Police Federation England and Wales and now works for Chief Constable Suzette Davenport who has led the roads policing portfolio for the NPCC since 2011. He works alongside Ch Insp Carl Flynn (West Mids) and the College of Policing to introduce national standards into all areas of roads policing training which encourages a modern and consistent approach across the country.
Sergeant Mark Carlin from the East Midlands Operational Support Service is the course director and lead instructor on the Pursuit Managers and Tactical Advisors Course which trains supervisors who are in overall control and authorise operational decisions about police pursuits from the force comms room.
He said: “Roads policing training tended to focus on those operational officers who may find themselves in a pursuit, however very little training was given to those officers who are responsible for managing the pursuit from control rooms. We recognised this was a risk and I worked with others to devise a new week long course for those front line managers who are responsible for what is one of the most high risk areas of policing.”
Mark recognised the importance of ensuring that staff across the four forces of EMOpSS (Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire), received the same training to make sure they were all following the same policies, practices and procedures. That training is now delivered by him and a team of three other officers.
Alan Jones said: “If other regions did their pursuit training for comms managers as well as EMOpSS just think how good it could be! A pursuit can be a stressful and demanding experience with some degree of risk, so making rational quick time decisions based on what can be a fast moving scenario is crucial in getting things organised and done right. For that reason, it’s vital we make sure managers have the confidence and capability to oversee these risks competently and effectively following the right processes which support their decision making. What EMOpSS is doing is commendable and other forces should take note they really are an example of good practice”.
He added: “Criminals and high risk drivers intent on evading the police don’t respect borders, which is why regional comms room managers and officers policing the road should feel confident that control of pursuits and the sound application of practice, policy and procedure is properly understood and uniform. We don’t want 43 forces doing it 43 different ways.
“The cost of running the course is far less than the cost of investigating a pursuit that leads to someone being killed or injured. So if the region were to save one life or serious injury through better co-ordination and joined up thinking, then it has to be worth the investment this training costs. EMOpSS is doing it to the highest professional standard, which meets the NPCC and College of Policing standards and I’d urge other forces to come and see what they are doing and follow their example.”
All pursuit managers have to be accredited and take part in refresher training every three years.