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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Front Line Review - Your views are heard

26 July 2019

Government prioritises wellbeing in new package to support police

The Government and HMICFRS will work together to put the wellbeing and mental health of staff and officers at the heart of policing, following a landmark review.

The Front Line Review has seen the Home Office engage directly with officers and staff for more than a year. The department has now published everything it heard from the front line, alongside a package of new measures which aims to transform the support given to those working in policing. This includes plans to work with HMICFRS to embed wellbeing into the culture of policing through inspecting forces.

Views shared by staff and officers in the Front Line Review centred around demand, wellbeing challenges, insecurities around personal safety, training and morale.

Avon and Somerset Police Federation Chair, Andy Roebuck said: “I was approached requesting Avon and Somerset Constabulary to be part of this review and immediately saw the absolute benefits this could bring to our force, the police nationally and for the benefit of all our communities. The buy in by our staff and from those in other forces is a real credit and provides some honest, true and very real feedback. The Government and senior officers now have a great document to build on and we will be keen to push these aspects forward”.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Our world-leading police keep us safe in the most challenging of circumstances – so it’s vital we do everything possible to support them in their roles. Over the past year we’ve been speaking to officers and listening to their views around how they can make the service they provide even better. As a result, we are taking action to reduce their workloads, ensure their wellbeing and give the front line a stronger voice in decision making.”

Minister for Policing and Fire, Nick Hurd, said: “We wanted to hear directly from the front line of policing and the messages were clear. The need for more people. The call to stop wasting police time. The desire for more of a say in the decisions that affect the front line. The need for more time and support for both training and wellbeing.

“We have listened and now we are taking action with our partners to make sure police officers, staff and volunteers have the support they need, wherever they serve. This is on top of the increased investment to recruit more officers.”

New guidance will also be issued empowering police to push back against responding to inappropriate requests for attendance, often health or welfare related, and where the police don’t have the appropriate skills or powers to respond. This is designed to make a difference for vulnerable people, giving them the right support from the right agencies, while also freeing up time for the police to focus on tackling crime.

Other measures brought in by the Front Line Review include:

• Plans to bring the front line into the decision-making process on future policies and change
• A commitment to look into shift patterns with a view to give officers more time for wellbeing, as well as personal and professional development
• Bringing police chiefs and their staff together to find solutions to the front line’s frustrations over internal bureaucracies, including administration and inefficiencies, to free up time.

The Government worked closely with the College of Policing, National Police Chiefs Council, the Police Federation, HMICFRS, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and others to see what could be learnt from these findings. The Front Line Review Recommendation Report is available on the Home Office website.

 

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September 2019
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