“Not only did counselling help me deal with what had happened in the past and what was happening now, it gave me tools to deal with stresses in the future,” he explained. “If I had my time again, I’d take any help the Constabulary offered me and would be honest with my supervisor rather than just expect them to know there’s a problem. “I find debriefing as a team is a great way of checking your colleagues and yourself. We work so closely together that if you’re not right, someone will notice and hopefully be honest with you.”

‘Put the systems in place to help officers’

Providing early support to ofcers and staf struggling with their mental health is vital to lessening the impact, says Lancashire Police’s psychological adviser.

Dr Anthony Parnell has cut the waiting time to see a member of

the Force’s psychological therapy team from three to six months to two to three weeks. His team provides therapeutic intervention including annual assessments. Dr Parnell said: “A common phrase we hear is ‘I don’t know why this one is getting through to me because this is not the worst I’ve been to’. The reason is there’s something in that event that became personally connected in some way. Fatals involving children, for instance, are particularly significant. Nobody knows going into a scene if it is going to impact them in a particular way so we are constantly in a position where we might be triggered.” Peer-to-peer support is a vital tool in psychological wellbeing.

Lancashire is aiming to get two per cent of its workforce peer support trained. Dr Parnell also believes it is essential that people can recognise signs and symptoms of trauma. He explained: “Knowing that gives you the chance to interact with it and take some control of it.” Investment in the psychological wellbeing of ofcers and staf will help

them stay fit and well to do the role they’re trained for, added Dr Parnell. “It seems a simple thing to me that when you ask somebody to do something that has difculty to it, you train them appropriately, and then if something goes wrong or people respond in an impactful way you have a support system in place that helps them.”

New Roadcraft handbooks available

New editions of the Roadcraft handbooks for police drivers and riders has been released. The books, which are endorsed by the College of Policing, are a vital resource for anyone working in roads policing, and now include a revised chapter on overtaking and explanations of advanced concepts, such as limit points on left-hand bends. The Roadcraft e-learning platform has also been updated. See:


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