Cumbria Constabulary has introduced a new system designed to make it easier for people to verify officers who are working alone.
This move comes after confidence in policing was affected nationally following the murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens, who was a serving officer in the Metropolitan Police and falsely arrested Ms Everard before carrying out the murder.
This new system - which will operate from today - is designed to help anyone who would like to confirm the identity of a Cumbria Constabulary officer working alone who they come into contact with.
A spokesperson for the force explained that all officers will provide their collar number to anyone who asks and will call the control room to confirm their identity, location, that they are on duty and the reason why the officer is speaking with them. The officer’s radio will be on loudspeaker so that this response can be heard.
All uniformed officers are equipped with body worn video cameras and they will also make clear these are switched on and recording. Footage cannot be edited or removed from these cameras.
If an off-duty lone officer is involved in an incident, the officer will call 999 and allow the member of the public to speak to an officer or staff member in the control room on the phone. Once notified, uniformed officers will be sent to the scene.
Chief Constable Michelle Skeer said:
She added: “All of our police officers carry a Cumbria Constabulary identification card. However, we absolutely recognise our responsibility to introduce an additional means of verification to provide further reassurance to anyone, including women who may feel vulnerable. This new verification process will hopefully reassure people that when they encounter one of our officers, they are speaking to an officer who is carrying out a legitimate and professional policing response.
“We are a high performing police force, which is testament to the great work done by officers and staff each day to keep people safe. This could not be achieved without the support and confidence of our communities; therefore, I appeal to you all to continue to work with us to keep people in Cumbria safe.”