Pandemic shows preventative approach is needed for wellbeing

Dyfed Powys Police Federation has emphasised the need for a preventative approach to police officer wellbeing as the impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt across policing.

Wellbeing lead Dai Gaskins said: “The pandemic has highlighted a number of issues which lead to near-constant pressure on police officers.

“From lack of resources and manpower to officers attending multiple traumatic incidents in a row, it’s clear there needs to be a better approach to wellbeing on the part of forces.

“Too often, we rely on officers to tell us when they reach crisis point, by which time it may well be severely impacting their lives both at home and at work – or, tragically, they may never tell us at all.

“We must take better care of police officers and keep track of the specific pressures they’re under if we want to help them navigate the current realities of policing.”

National Federation wellbeing chair Hayley Aley gave a presentation to the Emergency Services Show in Birmingham this week which revealed many forces do not track how many traumatic incidents officers have attended.

Hayley suggested forces record that data and use it to offer practical support to those who may be struggling.

“If the organisation could work with that information, take the time to speak to the officer, check in and give them that support we would be pre-emptively tackling the problem,” she said.

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) is running a pilot scheme along these lines which aims to help representatives balance their full-time role with their Federation responsibilities.

The successful scheme helps reps identify potential stressors and offer helpful, practical advice to ensure they are coping with the demands of the role.