Association President Gavin Thomas has welcomed the award of £7.5million of funding for a National Police Welfare Service.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the professionalism of the police during a period of four terrorist incidents in as many months had been “truly humbling”. She also highlighted the “massive impact” the police have had on crime and keeping the country safe.
Chief Superintendent Thomas said:
“My Association looks forward to supporting and working with the College of Policing and the service to ensure we have consistent, high-quality welfare support to everyone serving and their families.
“The need for this support is borne out by the findings of our recent resilience survey, which showed members are increasingly unable to take time off to rest and recover.
“We need to look after our all officers and staff, who make up a hardworking and dedicated service that is relying more and more on fewer people working longer and harder.”
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:
“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 am awarding £7.5million 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, which if you need it, you can rely on.”
The new service will complement the support already delivered at force level to serving police officers and staff, covering mental health advice and welfare support. To help identify where additional support and coordination is needed, the College will begin an immediate exercise to finalise the details of the National Police Welfare Service.
Plans will be developed over the coming months by the College of Policing, working very closely with Police Federation.
The service will initially be tested in a pilot and, subject to its success, will be rolled out across the country between 2018 and 2020.
The College’s work to deliver a National Police Welfare Service will complement their existing work on staff welfare, which includes guidance on officer and staff safety and support in high stress environments.
Chief Constable Alex Marshall, College of Policing CEO, said:
“The people who work in policing spend a lot of their time protecting and supporting people who are vulnerable.
“They often face dangerous and demanding situations so it is right to be proud of our police workforce and be concerned for their welfare.
“Officers and staff signed up to the College’s membership already have access to coaching, mentoring and advice on development and wellbeing.
“In addition to this transformation bid, later this year the College will publish new guidance for forces to manage psychological stress for those working in high risk areas such as firearms, undercover operations, counter terrorism and child sexual exploitation.
“We look forward to working with colleagues across the service towards national provision of a welfare service for officers and staff.”