Police struggled in heatwave with overheating buildings and stifling PPE

HAMPSHIRE police officers struggled with overheating police buildings and having to wear stifling PPE on the hottest day ever recorded.

By Steve Deeks
Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 5:36 pm

UK temperatures topped 40C for the first time ever on July 18-19, and the national federation called on chief constables to ensure working conditions were reasonable, comfortable and safe.

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It said in a statement: ‘These temperatures present a serious risk of sunstroke, heat stress and sunburn. Working in hot weather can also lead to dehydration, tiredness, muscle cramps, rashes, fainting, and – in the most extreme cases – loss of consciousness.’

Hotwalls

Hampshire Police Federation chair Zoë Wakefield added: ‘A lot of our officers struggled with the heat. We’ve got so many police buildings that don’t have air conditioning, in a lot of them the windows don’t even open. I think the temperature inside the police buildings was quite unbearable for some people.

‘We managed to keep custody suites cool enough for the prisoners, but for a lot of colleagues it wasn’t great at all.

‘Our force’s estates team is looking at our buildings and trying to make some changes. There’s some future-planning going on.’

Bulky PPE was another problem, said Zoë: ‘You go out on patrol and people say, “You must be hot, wearing black”. Yes we are. We’re encouraging officers to take their stab vests off when they can.’

Met Office has confirmed there is a strong likelihood that temperatures will climb to a boiling 32C in a matter of days.

Next Thursday, August 11, could be the hottest - with most of England reaching at least 30C, a temperature which is normally confined to southern and central parts.