Traumatic Event Checklist in Policing Is Needed

THE force and supervisors need to be more aware of how many traumatic incidents an officer has attended so they can keep an eye on their mental health, said Hampshire Police Federation.

A Police Traumatic Event Checklist is currently being developed by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) and Police Care UK, in conjunction with Cambridge University. More than 1,500 officers and staff’s worst reported incidents on the job were coded to create a system to identify and manage trauma.

One in five police officers currently have either Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but there is no consistent way to measure trauma exposure in UK policing.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said: “Anything that can be done to help has got to be a good thing. If this highlights to supervisors and forces that this officer has now been to quite a few traumatic incidents, then it might help them to put the help in place at an earlier stage, before officers get poorly.

“But there also needs to be more awareness and training around spotting the signs of mental ill health. Not just for officers, but for supervisors as well, so that they can pick up on when an officer is struggling. And then that help and support needs to be put in place, which definitely isn’t happening across the board at the moment, and it should be.”

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