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West Midlands Police Federation

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Survey reveals sleep deprivation

23 July 2020

Almost half the officers who responded to the first national police wellbeing survey revealed they were getting less than six hours’ sleep a night.

Around 35,000 people took part in the survey which was carried out by Oscar Kilo, the National Police Wellbeing Service, and the College of Policing.

The two bodies will now carry out research with experts from around the world to consider ways to reduce the growing issue of officer and staff fatigue and will involve practitioners and staff associations in the UK.

“This survey makes interesting reading and backs up what we, as a Federation, have been saying for some time. We are all aware those who work shifts are more likely to experience poor quality sleep and this survey gives us the evidence to support that," says Jon Nott, chair of West Midlands Police Federation.

“Policing is a demanding and challenging role. The decisions and actions taken by police officers can be critical so when they are having to make split-second decisions while feeling fatigued it is going to be even tougher for them.

“We also have to consider the long-term effects of officers experiencing fatigue. It will have an impact on their mental health and even their physical wellbeing so it is crucial the police service addresses this issue. I look forward to reading about the outcomes of this new research.”

The wellbeing survey also found that police officers working in safeguarding and investigations reported lower levels of wellbeing, while police staff reported lower levels of wellbeing in areas such as custody, contact management and incident management.

There were, however, many positive findings from the survey:

  • 65 per cent of respondents reported feeling satisfaction in their work.
  • The majority of officers and staff reported they felt trusted in their roles and were able to act and make choices which reflected their own personal beliefs and values.
  • Both police officers and staff reported feeling high levels of competence in their work, meaning they felt they could be effective, make important contributions and felt valued by their co-workers and supervisors.

Read the full survey results on the Oscar Kilo website

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