Police PPE

Police PPE

Operational guidance for police PPE (personal protective equipment) during the global coronavirus – COVID-19 pandemic

This guide meets police force, government legislation and WHO recommendations on the use of Police PPE to prevent and protect from the spread of infection

In all circumstances the crucial recommendation is that all police have PPE ready at all times with the minimum police PPE being a fluid resistant surgical face mask type iir mask, non latex gloves such as nitrile gloves. It is the responsibility of supervisors that all officers and staff have access to adequate supplies off PPE Equipment at all times and to ensure that the personal protection equipment is used according to official guidance.

Police officers are classified as close contact workers, where it is not always possible in the line of duty to retain distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so it is essential that police officers and staff follow the necessary guidelines to protect themselves and the public from the risk of infection.

It falls on supervisors to provide Police PPE training as well as monitoring compliance to ensure that PPE is worn correctly and the right kind of PPE is worn for the right scenarios.

Police PPE criteria by scenario

  • Operational scenarios: If working in a confined space or double crewing a surgical type iir face mask is required, this should be used when social distancing is not achievable such as in a vehicle. Gloves, protective aprons and goggles should be available.
  • General patrol: All police calls should be triaged for the potential of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, the attending officers need prior warning enabling correct Police PPE to be worn. Officers need to be prepared to don PPE Equipment quickly and must prepare to ensure this is possible. So the necessary personal protective equipment needs to be on the officer’s person as opposed to being in the police vehicle. 
  • Entering premises: On the occasions where it is necessary to enter premises where there is no prior knowledge as to whether or not there is a risk of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. The officers attending must have Police PPE at hand and be prepared to don quickly prior to, or on entering the premises, using the NDM to risk assess each incident. Occupants may not be aware of being infected and some people may be asymptomatic carriers, capable of passing on the infection without demonstrating any symptoms.
  • Close Contact: When there is a requirement for close contact with the general public without the ability to maintain safe social distancing measures, with a suspected infection risk, or when dealing with a symptomatic person. Officers and all staff and people in the proximity need to wear a fluid resistant surgical mask (type iir) (non latex) gloves, disposable aprons and goggles.
  • Pre-Planned activity likely to require contact: When dealing with warrant execution, cell extraction or known hazards like dealing with a person known to be likely to demonstrate violence, it is essential to carry out COVID NDM meeting the local guidelines, in order for a risk assessment to outline the required Police PPE for the scenario.
  • Spontaneous COVID related incidents: On these occasions access to police PPE may not be on hand or time restraints prevent donning PPE:
  • A supervisor must be informed
  • An injury on duty form will need to be completed allowing H&S to assess the need for a Riddor report as well as a COVID post incident procedure with the potential of COVID testing.
  • If the person in which you had contact was a confirmed positive COVID-19 infection case, then the local Health Protection Team must be contacted.
  • Stop & Search: This is still a crucial factor during crime investigation and random stop and searches are a key factor in crime prevention. All officers must wear police PPE including: surgical masks and gloves whilst carrying out stop and search
  • Spare adult masks: During stop & search activity police officers should also have spare Type iir face masks available in order to supply a clean, unused face mask to the public that they are in close contact to.
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