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When we talk about resilience, one of the aspects that emerge for police is that of isolation. It is a funny old occupation in this respect, throwing a large amount of emotional and physical challenges at officers; and their family and friends. For some, these challenges can result in feeling very isolated from the general population. Similar experiences have been reported from members of the armed forces, paramedics, social workers and teachers. There is even some research suggesting that children that grow up in policing families may begin this experience of social isolation as they grow up, especially those that go on to follow in their parents footsteps. The evidence also suggests

that the issue may be more pronounced the longer an officer serves, and that officers may find themselves only mixing in police circles, with few acquaintances outside the profession. The result may be that officers are underexposed to ‘normal’ emotional interactions. They may become unnaturally hardened to situations most would find disturbing or upsetting. They may also indulge in unnecessary risk taking. This is not good for officers overall resilience; and well-being. When things go wrong, which from time to time is inevitable, officers can be reluctant to seek help or talk about their feelings or ailments. Left unchecked, these only escalate, sometimes to crisis point.

Friendship

I am not suggesting that you ditch all your police friends here by the way! Sometimes we provide each other with the best medicine there is, that of friendship. But if your only social circle is policing in its entirety, it may be that you need to take another look at the mix? One of more common external criticisms of policing is the ‘closed shop’ culture. Whilst this sense of togetherness and ‘defensive solidarity’ may protect us from the baddies; not all are baddies!