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Surrey Police Federation

Surrey officers are under intensifying stress, says Federation Chair

14 February 2019

The stress and strain police officers in Surrey are under is intensifying, Surrey Police Federation has warned.

The latest figures from the PFEW 2019 Demand, Capacity and Welfare Survey show that 80% of Surrey officers admitted to experiencing stress, low mood or anxiety over the past year.

The majority (69%) also said that their workloads were too high or much too high, while 81% used the survey to say that they felt there isn’t enough officers on the Surrey frontline for them to do their jobs properly.

Nearly half indicated that they found the job very or extremely stressful.

Most of the figures painted a worsening picture of officer health and wellbeing compared to the 2016 data, Surrey Police Federation Chair Mel Warnes said.

Nearly all Surrey officers (90%) said they believed there wasn’t enough officers to manage the demands placed on their teams or units.

“The response rate to the survey in Surrey was 14%, compared to 15% nationally so perhaps we need to question whether officers simply had the 20 minutes or so required to fill it in,” she said.

“Worryingly, 80% of officers say they experience stress and low mood and with workloads so high it’s clear there are just not enough officers to cope with demand,” she added.

“That will always lead to health and welfare issues and the numbers are getting worse, more officers in Surrey indicated that they are stressed and feeling anxiety than in 2016.”

Mel is concerned too about the number of officers reporting they had been assaulted in the past year. 27% of respondents said they had suffered injuries one or more injuries which required medical attention in the past 12 months – a steep rise from the 18% recorded in the 2016 survey.

“These are not officers getting a push or a shove,” Mel said, “but assaults which require medical attention. No one should have to come to work and suffer this sort of violence.”