Police officers struggling with anxiety and workplace stress due to Covid-19

Police officers across Yorkshire are struggling with anxiety and workplace stress due to Covid-related matters, including concerns over PPE and assaults by members of the public, the police federation has warned..

A generic picture of a police officer.
A generic picture of a police officer.

Pressures placed on officers individually due to their colleagues having to take Covid-related absence and day-to-day challenges of policing under Government guidelines are also adding to the stress officers are facing.

The issues have been highlighted in the first national Response Policing Well-being and Resilience Week of Action, with the aim of recognising the role and work of response police officers.

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Aaron Horsfall, the well-being lead at the West Yorkshire Police Federation said: "The week is needed to highlight the issues that officers and staff are currently facing at this time.

"Our colleagues are increasingly struggling with anxiety or workplace stress into such things as Covid related matters for example concerns over PPE, assaults by members of the public, pressures on them individually due to their colleagues being Covid related absent and the day to day challenges of policing under the Government guidelines.

"This is on top of the matters that others may be dealing with, including bereavements - Covid related or otherwise, relationship strains due to the global situation and anything else that may increase primary issues within their mental health.

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Mr Horsfall believes occupational health centres need to be able to fast track and treat officers and staff that are struggling.

He said there needs to be a better human resources process, which allows line managers and the organisations to flag issues quickly and sign post them to the relevant care provider as soon as possible.

"We educate officers to see the signs within themselves and colleagues and empower those individuals to speak out," Mr Horsfall said.

“We work smarter than we are doing now, we should look at the latest medical advice and change the view on recuperative rest periods during shifts which will assist officers fatigue and ultimately their mental health and prevent potential early burnout.”