Blue Flower

This is a great summary of the challenges of demand the UK police are facing. Eloquently narrated by Paul Griffiths from the Police Superintendents Association at their Annual Conference 2017.

 

 

Book Cover

Link Below:

Our latest book out on 20th Sept, 2017

Sometimes work can feel like this...

 

Great news for the service...

 

New £7.5 million welfare support service announced

Home Office to make money available to help officers' mental health and wellbeing needs.

A National Police Welfare Service will be launched with Home Office funds to provide dedicated welfare support for officers.

Some £7.5 million will be given to a pilot for the service, to be run by the College of Policing, “working very closely” with the Police Federation of England and Wales.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced the move today in an editorial for Police Oracle.

She wrote: “I’ve seen first-hand the commitment shown by you, our police officers. I am very aware that your uniquely challenging work can easily place stressful demands on you. The things you see, the dreadful stories you hear, the frightening situations in which you can find yourself must, in some cases, have an impact on someone’s personal wellbeing and their mental health.

“It’s only right that policing does all it can to provide high quality support for officers and staff. I welcome the work already being done by forces and chief officers to promote officer health and wellbeing, but we also want to enhance the safety net of support available to you.”

She added: “Today, I am awarding £7.5 million from the Police Transformation Fund over three years to pilot and - if it is successful - fund a dedicated national service to help provide enhanced welfare support, for any officer or member of staff who needs it.”

Subject to it being successful, it will be rolled out to all 43 forces between 2018 and 2020.

In January Police Oracle accused the government of failing to meet its obligation of protecting our officers both in the job and, particularly, when they have been forced out of the service because of physical injuries or mental trauma.

Via our BluePrint campaign we called on the Government to acknowledge and protect our unique service, the best in the world as stated by politicians themselves, by introducing a Police Covenant.

Much in the way the £10 million per annum Armed Forces Covenant accepts applications to support the armed forces community, we suggested a covenant could work in a similar way.

Officers forced to retire, in need of modifications at home, physiotherapy, mental health assistance or families left with no father or mother would all be able to apply to the trust for grants.

Police Federation of England and Wales chairman Steve White, said: “This is fantastic news for all officers and particularly our members whose work in high-stress situations has been exacerbated over the years because policing numbers have been cut to the bone.

“Now they will have access to a properly funded welfare service offering specialist help which the Federation has been calling for for years.

“While forces have tried hard to provide support, it has been very difficult in the current austerity climate to ensure good provision across the board.”

The Fed’s welfare survey has highlighted many issues in this area, with 65 per cent telling it last year that they still went to work even though they felt they shouldn’t because of the state of their mental wellbeing.

Mr White added: “We took proactive steps to better understand the issues that exist, but realised that our findings were likely to only be the tip of the iceberg. Nonetheless, it was important evidence which we used to push leaders to improve the support given to their staff.

“We will continue to work with the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs’ Council to ensure that the scheme is a success and provides the support that is needed for the service.”


 

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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