PFEW Initiative ‘Target Fatigue’ Hugely Important, says Federation

THE Police Federation of England and Wales has launched a new initiative, Target Fatigue, helping officers recognise fatigue and giving them the help and resources they need to address the problem.

“It’s a hugely important initiative,” said Zoe Wakefield, Chair of Hampshire Police Federation. “I’m really pleased that the national Federation are doing the work on this. The biggest killer of police officers is still road accidents, driving home after day shifts and night shifts, and we don’t know but I’m sure a huge amount of those are down to fatigue.

“Yet we expect police officers to drive cars throughout a night shift and then drive home as well. Some people are driving 30 miles home after a night shift. That can never be good.

“If you’re absolutely shattered, it’s doesn’t matter, you’ve just got to get on with it. Actually, it’s really important and I’m really pleased that it’s being looked at and taken seriously as a proper thing, fatigue, rather than people just being tired. I’ve done it, and I know officers who are still doing it. When you’ve got babies and young children and you either don’t get much sleep during the night and then you’ve got to work a busy shift the next day, or you can’t sleep during the day because you’re busy and you’re stealing an hour here, an hour there, and then still coming and doing a demanding job where you need to be on the top of your game 100% of the time.”

Within the Target Fatigue pages are useful, printable assets that include a ‘do not disturb’ door sign for night-shift workers and links to instructional documents that can guide on subjects from health to the law.

What would Zoe’s advice be to those who are working tired?

“Obviously the first step will always be talk to you line manager – and then come to the Police Federation. We can offer you support and advice. We can speak to your line manager on your behalf if need be. But there is support out there and I think officers need to remember that if they need to take some time away from the workplace, it won’t all come falling down. People will cope and you need to look after you.”


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