Concerted action needed to tackle `poor mental health state in policing`, says PFEW

A national debate centred on resourcing has been demanded over claims that low wages and a drop in officer numbers are impacting heavily on the welfare of the police service.

Jun 23, 2017

A national debate centred on resourcing has been demanded over claims that low wages and a drop in officer numbers are impacting heavily on the welfare of the police service. The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has called for concerted action to tackle poor mental health in policing. Chair of the PFEW, Steve White, said there is “no easy overnight solution” as the staff association joins the College of Policing and welfare providers in proposals to persuade the Government to deliver “improved, co-ordinated welfare provision for officers”. He said: “Ultimately there needs to be the debate around resourcing as numbers impact on demand. We need clearer agreements on future funding so that effective planning can take place.” The PFEW’s latest welfare survey showed that stress levels across the police service are twice as high as levels seen across other working sectors. With the UK hit by four terror attacks in three months, Mr White says it is important “not to dwell on what’s been, but instead focus on what can now be done”. In 2015, the PFEW promised it would help to tackle mental illness in the service by signing up to the mental health charity Mind’s ‘Blue Light Time to Change’ pledge. The pledge is part of the Mind’s Blue Light Programme, which was launched in March 2015 to support the emergency services. His comments come after Detective Inspector Warren Hines from West Midlands Police warned on Friday (June 23) that “sickness and mental problems amongst colleagues are rife”. He said: “We really are at a point now where we can`t cope with what we`re expected to deal with. We`ve got examples of police officers who have been conveyed to hospital from work because they`ve had a meltdown. “I`m also aware of incidents where sergeants in our public protection units are allocating work on the basis of who is the least tearful that morning when they get to work.”

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