Sir David Amess MP: Training for Sheffield councillors on how to stay safe

Sheffield councillors will be offered training conflict resolution and how to stay safe following the murder of Sir David Amess MP.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 2:15 pm

Councillors say the focus has been on MPs’ safety but they are also at risk at their surgeries and public meetings.

Sir David was stabbed repeatedly as he held a surgery at a church in his Southend West constituency.

His murder came five years after Jo Cox MP was fatally shot and stabbed in her Batley and Spen constituency.

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Sheffield councillors will be given training on how to stay safe following the murder of Sir David Amess MP.

Coun Sioned-Mair Richards told a meeting that councillors’ safety seemed to have been overlooked by the Government.

“Something that has concerned us is the safety of councillors when we’re going about our duties.

“We asked officers if we could have a look particularly at councillor safety and conflict resolution for when we find ourselves in those situations where we want to de-escalate something happening either in a meeting or on the phone.

“There are 20,000 councillors in this country who are also going out and holding surgeries and going to visit people in their homes to answer casework queries.

“We want to make sure that all those people are kept safe and that also includes our staff, who often have to go and deal with quite difficult situations.

“We want to make sure that at all times people who are associated with public service are kept as safe as they can be.”

Director Gillian Duckworth said she would contact South Yorkshire Police for advice.

“It’s a very important point and something that’s become very real for councillors again over the last week.

“We did put some effort into providing guidance and training for elected members after the Jo Cox murder a few years ago. The police helped us with that and that’s something that we could look at again.

“Personal safety and conflict resolution are already there as things that members have highlighted as being something that they would like training so that will be included within the programme and we’ll try and bring that forward so that we can make sure that members feel comfortable.”