Derbyshire Police Federation

Home Office to act on wellbeing

11 July 2019

The Home Office has pledged to embed wellbeing at the heart of policing and free up front-line officers’ time for core policing activities.

The pledge is included in the report from the Front-Line Review of policing which also puts forward six recommendations with a further review of progress expected in a year’s time.

The review, and its findings, have been welcomed by Tony Wetton, chair of Derbyshire Police Federation.

“The Front Line Review was announced by Home Secretary Sajid Javid when he addressed the Police Federation conference last year just weeks into his new job,” said Tony.

“The Home Office seemed to engage with front-line officers and staff with a series of workshops across England and Wales during which those who truly understand the pressures of modern day policing were able to have their say and hopefully influence Government policy going forward.

“The review has clearly highlighted the issues our members are facing with falling officer numbers coupled with increased demand, a general feeling of being undervalued and a disconnection between the front-line and senior decision-makers as well as scepticism about the new wellbeing agenda in policing.”

Police minister Nick Hurd, who launched the report at an event at the Federation’s headquarters in Leatherhead yesterday (10 July), has committed to drive forward change in response to the review.

He 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.”

The recommendations include:

  • New guidance empowering police to push back against responding to inappropriate requests for attendance, often health or welfare-related, and where the police have neither the right skills or powers to respond
  • 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; and
  • National Inspections assessing how well forces promote staff wellbeing.

John Apter, national Federation chair, has called for all stakeholders to work together to ensure the recommendations prioritise mental health and wellbeing.

He explained: “I see this Front-Line Review as the start of something which must make a positive difference. The success or failure of that will depend on the Government’s will to push this through.”

Led by Mr Hurd, the research team partnered with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to hold 28 workshops across England and Wales involving all 43 forces.

They gathered evidence on a wide range of issues which affect the working lives of officers, staff and volunteers with key themes including wellbeing, professional development, leadership and innovation. 

The report.

 

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