Po­lice bat­tling with fatigue, re­port finds

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

PO­LICE of­fi­cers are strug­gling with fatigue, says the WA Po­lice Union.

The WA Po­lice re­cently re­leased find­ings from an in­ter­nal re­view of the Front­line 2020 Met­ro­pol­i­tan Op­er­at­ing Model, which was rolled out in De­cem­ber 2014.

WA Po­lice Union pres­i­dent Ge­orge Til­bury said there was no doubt of­fi­cer burnout was a real is­sue.

He said a sur­vey of more than 1100 mem­bers had found of­fi­cers were bur­dened by travel, rarely took en­ti­tled meal breaks, and were strug­gling un­der an in­creased work­load brought on by va­can­cies.

“Re­spon­dents re­vealed nu­mer­ous fright­en­ing in­ci­dents trav­el­ling to and from work due to fatigue such as fall­ing asleep at the wheel, driv­ing off the road or on to the other side of the road, com­pletely los­ing con­cen­tra­tion while driv­ing, run­ning red lights or stop signs, hit­ting sta­tion­ary ob­jects along the road or kerb and be­ing in­volved in traf­fic crashes,” he said.

“The re­port also found that al­most 82 per cent of re­spon­dents ex­pressed that early morn­ing fin­ishes on evening shift cre­ated sig­nif­i­cant fatigue-re­lated is­sues when com­mut­ing home.”

Fatigue is­sues were also re­ported by of­fi­cers, par­tic­u­larly those in re­sponse teams.

Ros­ters were found to be EBA com­pli­ant and there were no sub­stan­ti­ated fatigue-re­lated OSH in­ci­dents, ac­cord­ing to WA Po­lice, but they have promised to ex­plore fur­ther.

In a win for the model, pub­lic sat­is­fac­tion and con­fi­dence, the num­ber of ve­hi­cles avail­able for front­line tasks, pros­e­cu­tions and en­gage­ment with the com­mu­nity had in­creased.

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Karl O’Cal­laghan said the model had pro­vided a solid plat­form to go on with, but con­ceded there was plenty of work to do.

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