Federation warns of Norfolk police pressure

Police PCSO Stock
Police PCSO Stock

More than 80 per cent of Norfolk’s police officers have experienced some form of mental health problem associated with work in the past year, a survey has suggested.

The figures have been published by the county’s Police Federation branch, the body which represents rank and file officers.

And its chairman, Andy Symonds, called on politicians to act upon the findings.

He said: “These findings are a reality for the government and MP’s of all parties whom must sit up and listen before it is too late.”

The group says that more than 360 people responded to

Of those, 81 per cent said they had experienced stress, low mood, anxiety or some other mental health and wellbeing issue over the previous 12 months, with virtually all cases being associated with work.

Two-thirds of officers said their workload was too high and more than 90 per cent disagreed when asked if they had sufficient officers to fulfil all the requirements made on their units.

Mr Symonds said senior officers and the county’s police and crime commissioner, Lorne Green, understood the situation.

He said support was also being extended through the federation’s own welfare programme, as well as partnerships with individual forces and charities including Mind.

But he added the result of the survey did not surprise him.

He said: “Although Norfolk officers are better off than their colleagues in some other counties, we have been saying for some time that the changes the government has made to policing have unintended consequences.

“Officers are increasingly expected to deal with all manner of things that many other people would walk away from and other public services should be dealing with.

“Officers are extremely busy throughout their shifts and are working regular overtime.

“It is fundamentally important they feel that they can speak out when they need help and can have confidence that the service will treat them with the utmost dignity and discretion to help get them back on track.”