Po­lice of­fi­cers need more time to re­cu­per­ate af­ter shifts

The Chronicle - - News -

EIGHT of out 10 po­lice of­fi­cers suf­fer with symp­toms of de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety due to be­ing over­worked, the chair­man of the Po­lice Fed­er­a­tion has warned.

Calum Macleod said a lack of re­sources in po­lice welfare depart­ments have slashed the sup­port avail­able to stressed of­fi­cers, while Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quests have re­vealed front line staff in some forces were due as much as a week of rest days last year.

Al­most 250,000 rest days were owed across just over 30 forces, ac­cord­ing to snap­shot fig­ures. The po­lice were asked for statis­tics on how many days off were due to staff as of Septem­ber 2017, when Britain’s ter­ror alert was “crit­i­cal”.

Mr Macleod says re­duc­tions in staff num­bers are hav­ing “sig­nif­i­cant im­pacts upon the pub­lic” as fewer of­fi­cers are shar­ing a larger work load.

He told the Press As­so­ci­a­tion: “The con­ver­sa­tion around men­tal health in polic­ing has be­come greater in re­cent years.

“There is a recog­ni­tion that po­lice of­fi­cers are hu­man, that they can be bro­ken and that their men­tal health is an is­sue.

“What we’re see­ing is eight out of 10 of­fi­cers, in a re­cent sur­vey, have come back and said they are feel­ing symp­toms of anx­i­ety or de­pres­sion.

“That is a very star­tling fig­ure when you look at the amount of po­lice of­fi­cers in the UK. They need to re­cu­per­ate to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble ser­vice to the pub­lic.”

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