Police support officers must have medical training, London Assembly chief urges

PUBLISHED: 14:35 17 February 2016

Council officers, police and residents on the Bow East walkabout

Council officers, police and residents on the Bow East walkabout

© Rehan Jamil

Police support officers who patrol the streets of east London should get medical training to give life-saving treatment while paramedics are on their way.

London Assembly's Andrew Boff calling for Tower Hamlets support officers to get medical trainingLondon Assembly's Andrew Boff calling for Tower Hamlets support officers to get medical training

That’s the call being made on the London Assembly by Andrew Boff, who claims it will help improve emergency response while cutting costs.

“It’s vital that we look at ways of maximising the potential of those on the front line,” he said.

“The support officers are an opportunity to broaden the emergency response and prevention capabilities at a time when resources are stretched. It would ‘future-proof’ their roles within the Metropolitan Police.”

The Assembly’s Tory group leader is calling for Tower Hamlets community officers to receive first-response medical training to help in emergencies before paramedics arrive.

Fire safety training will also mean they could help the London Fire Brigade by advising vulnerable and elderly people on how to make their homes safe.

“They could also take on roles carried out by Tower Hamlets council’s enforcement officers and Trading Standards,” Boff adds. “This would include help with local issues such as flyposting, littering and doorstep fraudsters.

“Support officers are the ‘eyes on the ground’ in the community who are well placed to tackle local issues.”

He is calling for a broadening of roles for support officers as “a sensible way of getting value for money” at the same time as easing the burden on emergency response teams.

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