POA Circulars

95 | 28.10.2016

REPORTING VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE AND NEXT STEPS

The Executive has promulgated a number of circulars to members in respect of reporting all assaults to the police and this has been the subject of debate at Annual Conference.

The POA has recently been successful with applications against the Police and CPS through the Judicial Review process, due to their failure to prosecute acts of violence against POA members.

As a result of concerns raised by members and the continued failure of the Police to charge prisoners or the CPS to prosecute them, the Executive were instrumental in the development of the protocol on the appropriate handling of crimes in prisons which is attached for your information.

At the NEC meeting on 26th October 2016, it was agreed that a further circular would be promulgated to advise all members to report all assaults to the Police, following a number of concerns which had been brought to the attention of the Executive.

If a member of staff is assaulted they should place the prisoner on report and refer the assault to the Police. It is advisable for the member to go to the local police station to do this and obtain a crime reference number.

The member should also raise a claim on-line with the CICA at the following website address www.gov.uk/claim-compensation-criminal-injury as soon as possible and ensure they enter POA Headquarters as their representative.

The member should also contact the unions’ solicitors Thompsons and seek advice on pursuing a personal injury claim, if they believe the employer was negligent. These claims are difficult, but can succeed in obtaining members fair and just compensation providing negligence can be proved.

All sick absence as a result of the assault is excused and pay remains unaffected. Currently, Governors are not following the rules and placing members on reduced pay or asking them to apply for sick leave excusal. This is wrong and if this happens to any of your members they must raise a grievance and seek advice.

The recent Safer Custody statistics continue to demonstrate that POA members’ workplaces are more dangerous and violent. The Ministry of Justice has finally admitted that this may be down to staffing.

The POA has continued to raise the issues of Staffing, Regimes, Profiles, Risk Assessments and Safe Systems of Work with the employer. Unfortunately, they ignore our concerns and accept that POA members, their staff, will be assaulted; this is unacceptable.

The Executive, therefore advise all members to follow this advice and ensure that all assaults are referred to the Police. If the Police and/or CPS refuse to take the matter forward the member should contact the Legal Department for advice. It is important to recognise that each case turns on the facts and in some cases, there may be justification for the case not to be prosecuted and referred back to the internal adjudication process.

Please draw the contents of this circular to all member’s attention and raise the attached protocol with your Local Management to ensure the process is followed.

Yours Sincerely

 

STEVE GILLAN
General Secretary
 

crime-in-prisons-protocol.pdf

pdf, 286.6K, 28/10/16, 71 downloads