Blue Flower


 

CEO of the Police Dependents' Trust - Gill Scott-Moore

Much more info about the conference, and the PDT can be found on the The Police Dependents Trust Website

 

“We need to get to grips with post-traumatic stress in frontline policing.”

In November 2016, the Police Dependant’s Trust published its report, Police Injury on Duty. This followed completion of the World’s largest independent study into the experience of injury of both serving and former police personnel undertaken by the University of Surrey and funded by the Police Dependants’ Trust. As well as highlighting that over 80% of police officers and frontline staff will be injured during their career, it also identified that over half of all injuries sustained in the last five years included psychological injury as a direct result of their policing role.

While the risk of assault or threat in policing is the highest of all occupational groups (and five times above the average), wider research tells us policing also has some of the highest levels of occupational stress, with over 46% regarding their work as very or extremely stressful. Policing is one of the toughest jobs around – organisational stress, critical incident trauma, shift work, relationship problems and alcohol abuse are five prominent risk factors commonly associated with policing – unfortunately, they are also five of the most prominent factors found in suicidal ideation.

There are 48 police forces in the UK, with varying approaches, methodologies, and attitudes towards psychological support for frontline officers, and Police Injury on Duty showed that the current approach is not working with 86% of participants calling for more mental health support.

This is why the Police Dependants’ Trust organised this conference on Post-Traumatic Stress in Frontline Policing – to establish what gaps currently exist in the knowledge and management of trauma in UK Policing, and to identify the priorities for the service going forward.

I would like to thank all 120 delegates – police officers, occupational health professionals, medical advisors, Police and Crime Commissioners, the Home Office, police charities and psychological and clinical experts – who participated in this conference, and for making their recommendations which are summarised later in this report. I’d also like to express my thanks to Lancashire Police for providing the venue and facilities on the day, and to broadcaster and journalist Alastair Stewart without whom the day wouldn’t have run so smoothly.

These recommendations will be submitted to the NPCC and College of Policing to help develop a strategy to tackle posttrauma stress in frontline policing. This is not the end of our involvement in this process. The Police Dependants’ Trust is committed to reducing the risk of trauma related stress and long term psychological harm in UK policing.

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