HC Deb 29 October 2003 vol 412 cc277-8W
Mr. Rosindell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to protect police officers against violence while on duty. [133994]

Ms Blears

All police forces within England and Wales operate within the Health and Safety (Police) Act 1997 and must, therefore, conduct and maintain appropriate risk assessments into the roles of their staff. Where a risk is identified, control measures must be introduced to avert the risk or lessen its impact to an acceptable level.

In terms of officer safety, the most significant control measures include regular, mandatory self-defence training and the provision of equipment, such as batons, handcuffs and incapacitant spray. All police forces in England and Wales have access to dual-purpose body armour (knives and ballistic) either as a general or pool issue. Specialist officers also receive additional Personal Protective Equipment.

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