• Churnet Sound Newsdesk

Staffordshire Police implements new officer verification following Sarah Everard murder

Staffordshire Police is now offering a simple officer verification method to reassure people in Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent who have concerns about whether or not they are speaking to a genuine police officer.

The measure has been introduced following a nationwide increase in public concern following the horrendous murder of Sarah Everard.

From today (Friday 8 October) officers working alone will proactively offer to carry out a verification check via Staffordshire Police’s control room for anyone who appears to be concerned for their safety. Members of the public can also request for the verification check to be carried out.

As part of the check, officers will put their personal radio on loudspeaker to allow the officer or member of police staff working in the control room to confirm that the officer is who they say they are, that they are on duty and the reason the officer is speaking to the member of the public.

In the rare situation where an off-duty officer has to become involved in an incident, the officer will call 999 and allow the member of the public to speak to the control room on the phone. Uniformed colleagues will also be dispatched as quickly as possible.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Jennie Mattinson said: “The appalling circumstances of Sarah Everard’s murder have understandably generated concerns from members of the public about verifying the identify of police officers.

“The onus is on us, as a police force, to reassure the public of our commitment to, and ability in, keeping people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent safe.

“Our officers will not always be in uniform, but it would be extremely unusual for an officer to make an arrest whilst working alone. If they are, they should be calling for assistance with other officers arriving very soon to support them to help you if you are in need.

“By offering this additional verification check through our control room, we hope to be able to provide immediate reassurance to anyone who might be concerned if they find themselves being approached by a lone police officer.”

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