Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane has invested £760,000 in a package of measures to improve the wellbeing of police officers in Hampshire.
The funding boost will enhance the support given to officers who have been exposed to traumatic incidents, expand rehabilitation services for those who have been physically injured in the course of duty, and provide greater access to health screening services so that health risks can be better treated and prevented.
It will also see Hampshire become the first Force to expand psychological screening for all officers on entry into the role, not just those who will be at greatest risk of exposure to high-level trauma, such as roles involving cases of child sexual abuse.
The additional support is recognition of the high pressure and risk police officers face on a daily basis, often dealing with incidents that are both physically and emotionally demanding and which can take their toll on mental health.
Recent research by the Police Federation of England and Wales found that more than 60% of officers said they had been exposed to at least one traumatic experience in the last 12 months.
Michael Lane said: “Police officers put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe, sometimes at great cost to their own health and wellbeing.
“We must protect them, as they protect us.
“This is an important package of support which will give officers the support they need to stay mentally and physically healthy fit for all aspects of their role, and deliver the best possible service to the public.”
Welcoming the measures, Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen said: “Our officers are regularly exposed to incidents and situations that can affect their physical and mental wellbeing.
“These measures will provide better treatment for our officers when they need it and, crucially, help us prepare them for the traumatic experiences they may face.
“As a force, we are committed to looking after our people because they do such a great job in keeping our communities safer.”
Alex Charge, Chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, said: “Hampshire Police Federation have negotiated with the Commissioner to invest this money and we welcome both the significant investment in officers’ wellbeing and the recognition of some of the findings from the most recent PFEW Demand and Capacity Survey. It’s key that society protects the protectors and recognises that not all injuries to cops are visible.”