POA Circulars

29 | 08.04.2019


When the concept of BWVC was introduced commitments were provided to the POA but these have not been upheld by the employer. Furthermore, conflicting statements have been made by the Minister on whether it is mandatory for staff to wear a BWVC, and the Executive are seeking clarity on this and several other issues.

In addition, it has been brought to the attention of the Executive that many prisons have not introduced a local protocol or if they have it does not comply with PSI 4/2107 covering the use of BWVC.

The Executive has written to the employer seeking clarity and action on this however, it is vital that all local committees raise this with their SMT and demand a local policy is put in place.
The Executive recently advised members that hearing authorities and investigating officers may well synchronise BWVC footage to the use of force paperwork submitted by members. As a result of this the Executive reminded members that they should view the CCTV footage before completing their paperwork with the requisite 72 hours to avoid providing inaccurate or potentially mis-leading information which may be used internally or externally. This advice remains.

At a recent meeting with the employer the Executive asked for clear instructions to be provided to all Governors to ensure consistency on allowing staff access to BWVC footage prior to completing use of force paperwork. Unfortunately, the employer has declined.

The Executive are aware that the practice of allowing staff to view CCTV footage prior to completing use of force paperwork is in place locally, therefore this must fall under the remit of empowerment. As a result, the Executive urge all local committees to raise this with their SMT and ensure a local Notice to Staff is issued which allows staff access as best practise.

Please ensure all your members are aware of the content of this circular.

Thanking you in anticipation of your support and co-operation.

Yours Sincerely

Deputy General Secretary