WA Police fight for stab-proof vests, list risks of jobs in reports

Sunday, June 25th, 2017 - Jobs

COPS demanding stab-proof ballistic vests have encountered people carrying swords, hatchets and other blades in recent days.

The cases are revealed in health and safety reports logged by WA Police officers “potentially placed at risk” by attending jobs involving weapons without tactical body armour.

The catalogue is being kept as part of a work-to-rule campaign, which started on Wednesday after PerthNow revealed the WA Police Union’s request that all officers be given stab-proof vests had been rejected.

Dangerous incidents since Tuesday included:

  • FOUR officers in regional WA tasked to search bush for a man who had told his family by telephone that he had a sword and would wait for the police. They found the man standing on the side of the road holding the sword. As the officers got out of their vehicle, he walked towards them with the weapon under his left arm. He was told to stop and place the sword on the ground, which he did. He was taken into custody without incident.
  • OFFICERS stopped a man who appeared agitated and repeatedly told them “he did not like any police”. The man removed his right hand from his jacket pocket and dropped a hatchet about 40cm long he had hidden in his sleeve. He also had a small silver scalpel with blade and extra blades.
  • A REPORT of four gunshots fired in a suburban street. The station involved was short staffed and surrounding stations were unable to back up.

Police Minister Michelle Roberts said she had been told police had more than 1500 vests.

“The Commissioner of Police has raised some issues about a rollout of the stab-proof vests and so I have asked for some advice which draws on best practice in other Australian police jurisdictions and would meet the needs of officers here,” she said.

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