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Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Police funding: do we have the resources we need?
Cmdr Matt Twist: Use of force data is a great step forward for for transparency
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council July 2017
Blog: CC Sara Thornton - We need to talk about wellbeing in policing
CC Dave Thompson blog: Policing funding - what do we need to tackle the threats
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council April 2017
ACC Mark Roberts blog: We all have the same aim - a safe and enjoyable World Cup
NPCC Questions and Answers on Conducted Energy Devices (aka Taser)
CC Simon Cole Blog: Uniform that's uniform! February 2017
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council January 2017
CC Stephen Kavanagh Blog: Our world has gone digital January 2017
DCC Louisa Rolfe Blog: Coercive control can affect anyone. December 2016
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council October 2016
DAC Helen Ball Blog: Reflections on 'Look Outs'. October 2016
Sara Thornton Blog: It's time for a sharing economy in policing. October 2016
CC Simon Bailey: We have to intervene earlier to stop child abuse. August 2016
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council July 2016
Mark Rowley blog: Communities defeat terrorism - 3639 times a day, 1 August 2016
CC Sara Thornton blog - Unity & respect needed, not hate crime. June 2016
Cmdr Simon Bray Blog: Legal highs? Not as legal as you thought – 26 May 2016
CC Jane Sawyers Blog: International Day Against Homophobia - 17 May 2016
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council April 2016
CC Simon Cole Blog: Prevent - 21 April 2016
Police Chiefs Blogs: International Women's Day - 8 March 2016
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council January 2016
Sara Thornton Blog: Christmas greeting - Dec 2015
Sara Thornton Blog: Police budgets, reform & specialist capabilities - Dec 2015
Steve Kavanagh Blog: Policing the digital age - December 02 2015
Adrian Leppard: Fraud and Cyber-crime: What's being done? October 15 2015
Sexting, young people and the police: Working towards a common-sense solution
Sara Thornton Blog: Investigating burglary will always be a priority - Aug 2015
Police Chiefs' Blog: Sara Thornton, Chief Constables Council July 2015
A future for local policing - Blog by CC Simon Cole, NPCC Lead on Local Policing
Commander Chris Greany NPoCC Blog, 8 July 2015
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh: We have to think digital, 11 June 2015
CC Jane Sawyers: International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), 15 May 2015
Martin Hewitt: Building on the success of the Not Guilty campaign, 11 May 2015
Commander Chris Greany NPoCC Blog, 3 March 2015
Shaun Sawyer: Smashing the bonds of modern slavery remains a policing priority
Pat Geenty: Take care of yourself and your property this Christmas, 12 Dec 2014
Commander Chris Greany: My first eight weeks
Simon Cole: Police seek more reports of disability hate crime
Commander Chris Greany - New Head of NPoCC, 23 September 2014
Police And Communities Working Together To End FGM, 3rd July 2014
Gareth Pritchard - Changes to dangerous dogs legislation - 16 May 2014
Francis Habgood - Building trust in crime recording, 14 April 2014
Autism Society - Autism awareness can improve police practice, 2 April 2014
ACPO President on our FOI Disclosure Log publication, 21 February 2014
The Future of ACPO - A blog by our President, Sir Hugh Orde, 17 Jan 2014
Simon Bray - Understanding the impact of new psychoactive substances,17 Jan 2014
Guest Blog, Paul Burstow MP - Policing and mental health,12 December 2013
Martin Hewitt - Rape discussion provokes strong feelings, 2 December 2013
Suzette Davenport - Drink and drug drivers, 2 December 2013
Mick Creedon - Fighting serious organised crime, 18 November 2013
Andy Marsh - Firearms licence-holders are no cash cows, 1 November 2013
Simon Chesterman – Police use of Taser and training, 12 July 2013
Julian Blazeby - Police use of automatic number plate recognition, 18 June 2013
Pat Geenty - Improving the police response to missing people, 24 May 2013
Adrian Lee - Police commitment to tackling alcohol harm, 15 May 2013
Andy Trotter - Secret Justice, 30 April 2013
Garry Shewan - Stalking. Know the law, use the law, 18 April, 2013
International Women's Day - Women in Policing, 8 March 2013
A word from ACPO president, Sir Hugh Orde - 22 February 2013
A word from ACPO president, Sir Hugh Orde - 25 January 2013
Martin Hewitt - Adult Sex Offences, 17 December 2012
David Whatton - Violence against women and girls, 4 December 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 15 November 2012
Simon Cole- Policing and Dementia, 8 November 2012
Dave Thompson - Police work to tackle gun crime on our streets, 30 October 2012
Sara Thornton - Authorised Professional Practice, 22 October 2012
Alex Marshall - Drones, 9 October 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 25 September 2012
Andy Marsh - changes to firearms licensing, 18 September 2012
Simon Cole - disability hate crime, 10 September 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 14 August 2012
Ian Learmonth - The riots one year on, 7 Aug 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 20 July 2012
Alex Marshall - PCCs, 10 July 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 26 June 2012
Nigel Brook - Budget cuts, 22 June 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 10 May 2012
Simon Cole - Local policing and partnerships, 4 May 2012
Nigel Brook - Police Finance and Resources, 12 April 2012
Peter Fahy - Winsor Part Two, 30 March 2012
Gareth Pritchard - Policing dangerous dogs, 27 March 2012
David Whatton - Investigating rape, 8 March 2012
Dave Thompson - Renewed focus upon gangs is welcomed by the police, 8 Feb 2012
Simon Byrne outlines the benefits of ANPR technology, 7 February 2012
Simon Cole - Responding to mental ill-health and disability, 17 January 2012
Ian Dyson - The new police 101 non emergency number, 11 January 2012
Andy Adams - Custody Matters, 28 November 2011
Rob Beckley - 'Big Society' and volunteering, 17 November 2011
Simon Byrne - Policing prostitution and sexual exploitation, 2 November 2011
Tim Hollis: Policing Drugs in Austerity - Adjusting to the challenge,12 October 2011
Olivia Pinkney: Policing the exploitation of labour, 26 September 2011
Tim Hollis: Reflections on Disorder, 12 September 2011
Sir Hugh Orde: Tension between politicians and police is healthy
Sara Thornton: Providing the best leaders, 29 July 2011
Phil Gormley: Recovery of vehicles - the truth, 28 June 2011
John Feavyour: Police complaints and improving public service, 23 June 2011
Sir Norman Bettison: Prevent Review, 7 June 2011
Janet Williams: Policing cyberspace, 9 May 2011
Mark Rowley: Surrey Police, bureaucracy and the frontline, 15 April 2011
Chris Sims: Frontline Policing, 11 April 2011
Graeme Gerrard: CCTV surveillance, 3 March 2011
Garry Shewan: Stalking and harassment, 10 February 2011
Sir Hugh Orde: A new direction, 26 January 2011
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Blog: CC Sara Thornton - We need to talk about wellbeing in policing

Sara5 2016

If we want our officers and staff to function at their best, they must get the support they need from police leaders on mental health, welfare, and wellbeing.

Last night I attended the annual Police Bravery Awards and celebrated officers who have performed extraordinary acts in the line of duty.

The men and women who put their lives in danger to protect us deserve more than praise alone. We have to concentrate on how action in the line of duty affects them, their families, and their ability to continue to do their job. We have to do more than demonstrate our pride in the emergency services in times of crisis. So it is time to talk more widely about wellbeing and welfare of police officers.

I spoke to officers about this at the Police Federation conference in May and yesterday at Chief Constables Council representatives from the Police Federation and the Superintendents Association came and presented the findings of resilience surveys from their members.

The quality of policing depends almost exclusively on the quality of the people who work in policing. As chiefs we have a responsibility as employers to do all that we can to make policing a supportive and rewarding profession. That isn’t anything new – officers and staff have always been the backbone of the service. But the job they are doing has fundamentally changed.

The facts speak for themselves. Non-crime incidents such as missing people, mental health incidents, and protection of vulnerable members of society have increased significantly over the last ten years. In my days as a constable, attending a domestic abuse case would often have been a quick report or a quick arrest. Not so today – officers rightly undertake a painstakingly detailed investigation into the abuse and go to far greater lengths to safeguard vulnerable victims. Investigating modern slavery networks, child sexual abuse rings, and ever-expanding cyber-enabled crime requires skill, knowledge, and many hours of specialist officer time. We have more work, fewer people, and the work we do has become more complicated. All of this has the potential to impact adversely on officer mental health and wellbeing.

Between 2010 and 2015, officers taking sick leave for mental health reasons rose by a third to 6,129. The Police Federation survey on mental health found that nearly two-thirds of officers said they went to work despite feeling that they shouldn’t have because of their mental health. We can’t let our workforce face the demanding, stressful – not to mention dangerous – job of keeping the public safe without our full support.

Our Policing Vision 2025, jointly launched with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, sets out our priority to improve officer wellbeing. All forces have also implemented workplace wellbeing charters, and the vast majority have adopted an excellent seven-point plan for dealing with assaults against officers. We’re continuing the innovative work led by Chief Constable Andy Rhodes to expand access to the Oscar Kilo Blue Light Framework project across police forces and our partners in the emergency services (more infohere). We also work closely with charities like MIND and the Police Dependents’ Trust. This week the Home Secretary announced that £7.5 million will be made available from the Police Transformation Fund for a national police welfare support service, which is welcomed by all chiefs, officers, and staff.

Moving forwards, we need to take three main proactive steps.

Police leaders need to design change that values the ‘people’ element of policing. Most forces have gone through substantial change programmes where they have focused on increasing the efficiency of the organisation. In doing this, it is really vital that chiefs consider the impact on staff; their morale and whether working practices result in officers feeling that nobody is taking an interest in their work.

Next, we need to value contribution from all levels.Hierarchical structures present problems of their own because bosses don’t always know best. The management-speak term is ‘employee engagement’ but what this really means is valuing people’s contribution. We are working to open up our culture, encourage feedback and harness the contribution of every member of staff.

We encourage all officers to work through their Police Federation representatives to raise issues with leadership, both nationally and locally. As representatives of officers, they place a crucial role in raising these issues, and all chiefs are committed to working in full and close collaboration with the Federation. We need to address the perceived stigma about stress and mental health issues. Things are getting better, but we need to do more to tackle the ‘be strong’ culture.

The Federation survey also noted that 63 per cent of people sought help for mental health issues from their line manager, and three-quarters report being treated with dignity and respect. Showing that where good processes are in place, they build confidence. But it’s not just about the hard data – we need to enable officers to decompress, talk, and feel supported by the structures.

Finally, we need to find the right balance between accountability and learning. Too often we resort to misconduct processes having failed to deal with problems as learning earlier on. We are working with all chiefs and the College of Policing to address the culture of blame that can affect officers at all ranks. There is some way to go but this is a clear priority for me and for all chiefs. We have to build organisations that can be open and learn rather than blame and keep failing.

The terrible events of recent months have brought to light the danger that police officers face every day. Our police staff also deal with difficult, upsetting and draining things everyday. We owe them our commitment that they will be able to access to the support they need, when they need it.