Officer identity check

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We know that following the growth of our community policing teams in towns and villages across Essex that local people want to see and hear from our officers.

Maintaining the trust and confidence of everyone who lives and works in Essex is our highest priority and we know that this bond of trust helps us to catch criminals and keep people safe.

To ensure you continue to feel safe in all circumstances, your officers will be happy to use the following method to reassure anyone about their dedication to their duties and their good intent.

We know that events across the UK have caused some concern, particularly in instances where officers may be working alone.

From today if you are stopped by an officer, they will be happy to verify that they are on duty and the location that they are patrolling in using our police systems. We are calling this an ‘officer identity check’ and this is what will happen.

What happens during an officer identity check

  • You can ask to see an officer's warrant card to check their identity.
  • They will use their personal radio to call the Essex Police Force Control Room and request an ‘officer identity check’.
  • The Essex Police Force Control Room operator will confirm the officer’s identity and that they are on duty, confirm their location, and create an incident log.
  • The control room will then reply to confirm the officer’s collar number, location, and incident log number.
  • If verification is not confirmed, the Essex Police Force Control Room will immediately send our officers to where you are.

As part of Essex Police’s commitment to keep you safe and maintain your confidence here are some assurances from us around what our officer will and won’t do:

Essex Police will:

  • Listen to your concerns and do our best to reassure you.
  • Continue to robustly deal with criminality in Essex in order to keep you safe.
  • Implement an officer identity check scheme so that you can verify the details of the officer who is dealing with you.
  • Work with partner agencies to make Essex as safe as possible.
  • Use body worn video when we are using any of our policing powers, and at any other point requested by you.
  • Endeavour to have an officer of the gender you request available to deal with you at the earliest opportunity.
  • Continue to deploy officers single crewed where operationally necessary.
  • Continue to strive for a diverse workforce that represents the community of Essex.

Essex Police will not:

  • If you are arrested we will do our best not to put you in the back of a police car and transport you with only one officer present. If this happens, we will: carry out the full officer identity check to reassure you first; ensure bodyworn cameras are on to record the length of the journey for your reassurance; and treat you with courtesy and respect.
  • We will do our best not to deploy plain-clothes officers on their own without the support of officers nearby. If for any reason we do and it becomes necessary for them to speak with you, we will complete the full officer identity check to reassure you.
  • Refuse to provide you with reassurance regarding the identity of any police officer or member of police staff whom you deal with.
  • Tolerate misogyny or any behaviour that breaches our standards of professional behaviour in line with the Code of Ethics.
  • Allow criminals to exploit the current situation in order to evade Police.

Off duty officers

Police officers swear an oath to preserve life and protect and serve the people of Essex. Due to their unrelenting commitment to their oath and to you, their public, there may be instances when, whilst off duty, our officers are required to step in to save lives, protect the public and make arrests. In these instances they will likely only have their warrant card and are unlikely to have access to police radios or other equipment. If you find yourself in a situation with an off duty officer please ask their name, rank and which force they work for. If you dial 101 and ask for their police force you should be able to carry out an officer identity check. If you have any concerns about your safety and feel there is a clear and present danger to you, please call 999.