It is no surprise that Police Officers are suffering with mental health related issues

This was Staffordshire Police Federation Chairman Phil Jones’s reaction to latest figures showing a worrying rise in the number of Staffordshire Officers forced to take time off due to mental health problems.

Reports indicate that 68 Officers took time off with stress during 2018/19. Although this is lower than 77 from 2017/18, the figure was higher than both years between 2015 and 2017.

“Policing is a job like no other,” said Phil, “Police Officers are at the forefront of protecting the public, safeguarding those most vulnerable in our communities and bringing those who break the law to justice.

“They are exposed to, and deal with, difficult situations and see things that no one should have to. These are memories that can’t be easily erased.”

He added that the demands placed on Officers are increasing and, given the complexity of incidents, sadly they do get abused, threatened and assaulted.

“Assaults on a Police Officer, or indeed any emergency service worker, are unacceptable. I encourage the justice system to use its full powers in relation to sentencing convicted offenders.”

A shocking 1,240 Officers have been hurt since 2014, with 20 of those sustaining serious injuries.

If time off for stress and increased attacks/serious injury isn’t enough, we now have to add an increase in Officers struggling with anxiety to the pressures on the Force.

Reports say there have been 69 cases of depression in the Staffs Force since 2014/15. Six officers also took time off for post-traumatic stress.

Phil responded: “Wellbeing of Police Officers is of absolute importance.

“Staffordshire Police Federation works alongside the Force to deliver the best services possible. Our Officers have access to services 24 hours a day through the Federation and to Police treatment centres across the country.”

He added that the Force has increased its provision of occupational health functions.

“This is, of course, welcome, but more needs to be done; especially following the recent publication of the pay and morale survey.”

Staffordshire had double the national average in the number of responses to that survey. Phil adds that, not surprisingly, morale is low.

“Staffordshire Police Officers are exceptionally hard working and put themselves in harm’s way.

“It’s only right that they get full support when they need help.”.