An initiative by the National Police Chiefs’ Council Response Policing portfolio to recognise and celebrate the work of response police officers launches today, Monday 15 March.
A special emphasis during this week of action will be on wellbeing, and making officers 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.
Wellbeing vans will be deployed across the UK and wellbeing dogs will be available to some forces, along with a series of Oscar Kilo webinars around sleep, fatigue and resilience and toolkits for self-care and compassion.
A number of engagement opportunities for front line officers will take place, including a #WECOPS response policing conversation with NPCC Wellbeing Lead CC Andy Rhodes and Response Policing Lead DCC Serena Kennedy.
Officers in response teams never know what situations they’ll be faced with when they come into work each day. They have to be prepared to deal with a wide range of incidents, including complex and sometimes confrontational situations. No two days are the same, and officers in these roles come from many different backgrounds and work in a variety of environments. This week will seek to raise awareness of this important area of policing.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Response Policing, Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said:
“The aim of the week of action is for response officers to be heard and valued, to see their workplace successes celebrated, to know that their wellbeing is important and to understand how and where to seek support when it is needed.
“These officers routinely face and deal with some of the most challenging and difficult situations in society. They are frequently the first on the scene whenever an incident occurs, and they are often the first and only contact that many ever have with the police service. It is only right that they feel supported in the work they do.
“I encourage all senior leaders in policing to get involved with this initiative and to ensure that every opportunity is taken to recognise and celebrate the incredible work these officers do every day”.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Wellbeing, Chief Constable Andy Rhodes added:
“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.”
Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said:
“Whether it's a burglary, murder, scuffle or car crash, response police officers will be first on the scene to help victims and arrest villains.
“No two calls are the same, and those officers never know entirely what they're going to find on arrival.
“Shining a light on their work and thinking about their wellbeing during this week of action is very welcome, and highlights the need for the statutory Police Covenant we are bringing to the House of Commons this week.
“Through this Covenant, we hope to build on the National Police Wellbeing Service so that our officers have the best support and protection we can provide.”