The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has today (21 August) launched its second officer welfare, demand and capacity survey, the findings of which will give a full picture of the main challenges officers face across the 43 forces.
Importantly, the survey will allow valuable comparisons to be made from previous results, giving police officers the opportunity to provide their opinion on current welfare, demand and capacity issues.
The 2016 survey finding painted a damning picture of the service, with results including:
- Widespread stress and poorer psychological wellbeing than the general population, with 80 per cent of respondents experiencing feelings of stress, low mood, anxiety, or other mental health and wellbeing difficulties within the previous 12 months.
- Capacity to meet demand being viewed as insufficient.
- Four out of five officers indicating that officer numbers in their team/unit were insufficient to manage demand and do the job properly.
The shocking results prompted the Federation to host two workshops looking for solutions to address the demand and capacity imbalance. The development of four recommendations (see notes to editor) received sign off from key stakeholders from the National Police Chiefs’ Council, College of Policing, and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services. The recommendations were also supported and agreed with Policing Minister Nick Hurd MP.
Additionally, the College of Policing used the survey data in its National Wellbeing Service stakeholder event, the Pay and Remuneration Body examined the findings and cited the results in its 2017 report and Prince William highlighted the results when he addressed the National Mental Health in Policing Conference last year.
Chè Donald, Vice-Chair of the PFEW, said:
“Two years ago officers told us very clearly that the police service was struggling, with a severe imbalance around meeting increasing demands - with decreased capacity to meet them through reduced officer numbers. We have taken steps nationally to highlight and address this, but there is still much more work to do. This 2018 survey is a significant piece of work. It will give an updated picture, identifying where we need to take action and what, if anything, has changed since the last survey. But, we need members to take the time to complete the study if we are to effect positive change”.
For more information about the PFEW please visit www.polfed.org