Dan Lever is working closely with his Force to ensure that officers can feel more comfortable about coming forward if they are struggling. “In some ways, when you take away the

difficulties of being on the frontline during the pandemic, police officers have not been so hard hit from a financial perspective,” says Dan. “We have not been furloughed or faced redundancy. But officers will have partners who are running businesses that have been severely affected or have gone under, or they may be on reduced hours or could have lost their job. “That, even with a police salary coming in, is

‘Come to us if you have money worries’

Ofcers are more likely to discuss their mental health than financial difculties, according to Cheshire Police Federation’s wellbeing lead

going to affect the funds available to people and that can soon escalate out of control. “It’s really strange. When people are having

mental health issues, they will speak to me quite openly about some really personal stuff but when it comes to finances there seems to be a real reticence to talk about it. It’s like the last taboo.” Dan said there is a concern among

colleagues that being in debt or having a county court judgement against them will be detrimental to their policing career even though this does not have to be the case. He added: “We have seen cases where

people will end up with a high interest loan, perhaps through a pay day loan company, and their financial problems just spiral.” Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner

David Keane has introduced interest-free hardship loans for officers and staff on the back of the Federation’s financial wellbeing initiatives. Dan has also worked closely with No1 Copperpot credit union which gives loans tailored to the policing family. Before Covid-19 hit, Cheshire Police

Federation had planned a series of roadshows with No1 Copperpot but, with these ruled out during the pandemic, has put out a number of podcasts including a couple with a financial theme as well as promoting the support available to anyone with money troubles on social media. “The message is simple. Just as with mental

health and other wellbeing issues, if you are struggling, don’t sufer in silence. Speak to your Federation representative. The Federation cannot ofer financial advice, but it can put you in touch with a number of professional companies and organisations that can ofer support that is tailored to police ofcers,” says Dan.

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