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The vital work of response officers is being celebrated with the first ever week of action on wellbeing for response policing.
Derbyshire Constabulary is supporting the initiative, which starts today (Monday 15 March) and is led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
A special emphasis during this week of action will be on wellbeing, and making officers and staff aware of the resources available to them that can help to address important issues such as fatigue and resilience.
The NPCC has worked with Oscar Kilo, the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), the College of Policing and the Police Federation, to deliver a range of wellbeing and resilience initiatives, co-ordinated specifically for response officers’ needs.
Derbyshire Constabulary is also providing officers with virtual sessions to help them build resilience and deal with the pressures of their role.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Wellbeing, Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said:
“Response officers work in incredibly demanding roles and regularly see the very best and the very worst of humanity. It is so important that we do what we can to support them.
“These officers have told us, through national surveys and through their own forces, that wellbeing, resilience and fatigue are big issues that they are facing. We want them to know that we are here to help, and during this week of action, a range of resources created specifically with response officers in mind will be made available across the country.
“It is important to know that this is not just a one-off event; we want to use this week as an opportunity to let officers know that support is available to them and to their forces, all year round.
“The wellbeing of officers and staff is a priority for all police chiefs. We are always listening and support will always be there for those who need it.”
Assistant Chief Constable Michelle Shooter, of Derbyshire Constabulary, added: “Response officers are probably what the public think of first when they think of policing – those officers who are first on the scene after a call for help.
“These officers and staff often work long hours and face demanding situations to make sure that we are here for you when you need us. They never know what they will be faced with when they come into work each day, but they do it all without a thought for the danger they might face - all so that they can keep Derbyshire safe.
“This has particularly been the case during the pandemic, when officers and staff have been on the frontline day in, day out to serve the public – even if this meant more risk from the virus for themselves and their families.
“That is why it is so important that we recognise the vital role they play in policing, and do everything we can to support their wellbeing. We have a five-year strategy in place covering all aspects of health and wellbeing, to ensure we are looking after our people.
“From counselling to our new wellbeing rooms where officers and staff can take a much-needed break, there is a wealth of support on offer both within the force and from services such as Oscar Kilo. However, we know we need to continue to be innovative in the ways we support our officers and staff and we are committed to supporting these activities far beyond this week of action. No one who is struggling has to suffer in silence.”
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Hardyal Dhindsa, said: “The wellbeing and welfare of Derbyshire's response officers and all policing staff is a top priority.
“It has been one of the toughest and most challenging years on record and our response officers have been outstanding in their protection of our communities against the threat of coronavirus.
“Clearly, these frontline officers may need additional support to manage the constant pressures they face, and I’m very grateful to the Force for providing these opportunities to restock and rebalance, not just on one day but all year round.
“To be at their best, officers need to feel at their best and we need to do everything possible to support their physical and mental wellbeing.”
You can find out more about the week of action on the Oscar Kilo website: NPCC Response Policing Week • Oscar Kilo