PCC and Chief Officers welcome the Government's pledge to boost welfare support for officers
The police and crime commissioner and chief officers from Lincolnshire today welcomed a pledge by the Government to boost the welfare support available to officers.
PCC Marc Jones and Lincolnshire Police have already announced a host of measures designed to improve the wellbeing of officers at the county force.
Now the Home Office have announced a three-year project to focus on supporting the mental and physical health of officers.
The Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd, sat down with groups including police leaders, cross-government partners, charities and welfare providers who support the police and their families, to develop a new “goal” to address the issue.
A senior level meeting to discuss how to put the mission into action was held in London today and a member of the PCC team from Lincolnshire was among those taking part.
The pledge states that “By 2021, policing will ensure that every member of the police service feels confident that their welfare and wellbeing is actively supported by their police force throughout their career, that a culture supporting this is embedded in every force, and that individuals have access to appropriate support when they need it.
“This includes physical and mental health as well as the broader concept of wellbeing - which enables individuals to realise their potential, be resilient, and be able to make a productive contribution to the police workforce.”
The goal has also received the backing of Mind, the mental health charity which provides support to over half a million people in England and Wales.
PCC Marc Jones said: “I am delighted the Government has put the welfare of officers at the forefront of thinking. Ministers have recognised that talking well being seriously leads to a more effective force and a better service for the public.
“I’m proud that officers from Lincolnshire have been at the heart of these developments. We have already recognised the importance of a happy and healthy police workforce and this announcement will only support us in our drive to continue the good work we have already begin.”
Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor said the pledge was good news for officers and a recognition of the innovative work done by Lincolnshire.
“Our force has led the way in addressing the need to support our dedicated officers and their families. Our are at the front line of keeping our communities safe and we need to do everything possible to support them in meeting that challenge.
“The announcement is a positive affirmation of the importance we have placed on this issue and can only help us as we continue our drive to provide the most effective policing possible to the people of Lincolnshire.”
By signing up to the goal, police leaders pledge to create a culture in forces that focuses on early intervention to help officers and staff. The goal also demands that forces provide key forms of assistance – including occupational health and effective line management – and signposts to other providers, including police charities, which can support officers or staff facing specific challenges.
The former Home Secretary awarded £7.5 million to the College of Policing in July 2017 over three years to pilot and, if successful, fund a dedicated national welfare service.
The government has also awarded £7 million to Mind to fund their Blue Light Wellbeing Programme – which provides mental health support to members of the emergency services – and £1.5 million to the Police Treatment Centre in Harrogate, which treats police officers suffering from illness or injury.