Cambridgeshire Police Federation has called for a more preventative approach to mental wellbeing as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the effect of long-term cuts and under-resourcing continues to be felt.
Currently, no forces keep data on how many traumatic incidents police officers have attended, leading to a build-up of pressure that can take a serious toll on officers’ mental health.
Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom said: “Policing is under pressure like never before, but we must be aware that much of the stress officers are under goes unseen and unrecorded.
“Lack of resources means more and more of my colleagues are going to incident after incident, many of them emotionally difficult or traumatic, and you can’t simply shrug off the impact this has.
“Forces must do better at keeping track of what their officers are experiencing and check in on them before it’s too late.”
The Federation has recently seen success with a similar scheme checking up on officers who balance their full-time policing job with acting as a Federation representative.
The scheme, which is still in its pilot stage, helps reps identify potential stressors and offer helpful, practical advice to ensure they are coping with the demands of the role.
At the Emergency Services Show held at the NEC in Birmingham this week, the Federation’s national wellbeing lead, Hayley Aley, suggested forces track the number of incidents officers have attended 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.