More Police Officers are Suffering With Stress at Work and 92 Lancashire Police Officers are Currently Off With Stress
Over 16000 working days were lost by Lancashire police officers over the past five years because of stress related sickness.
The force released figures that showed nearly 300 officers had time off work between April 2008 and March 2013 because of stress related illness.
The Eastern division which covers Blackburn with Darwen Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley had the highest number of officers taking days off for work-related and non-work-related pressure with 50.
42 officers were off in the Pennine division which looks after Burnley Pendle and Rossendale.
The Lancashire Telegraph reported that Rachel Baines from the Police Federation felt that the numbers were ‘concerning’.
She feels that sometimes the effects from the job can remain dormant.
“Officers are dealing with terrible incidents every day and something that can manifest itself over a period of time.”
Richard Coulthard Head of the Stress at Work Department at Michael Lewin Solicitors said:
“Police Officers who are suffering with stress at work need to be protected and rehabilitated. Police forces across the country are already stretched due to resource pressures. These pressures will only be exacerbated by long term illness of officers due to stress in the workplace.
“Police officers who are suffering with mental health issues are clearly unfit to be on duty and deal with the daily pressures of enforcing the law. This creates further problems in that the police force have fewer officers on duty and the resulting risks that this may pose to public safety.”
Richard Coulthard further believes that prevention is the key issue:
“Fundamentally the safest and most cost effective way to reduce this risk is to prevent police officers from suffering with stress in the workplace. There are various mechanisms which can be introduced such as regular appraisals and counselling sessions which can reduce the risk of stress in the workplace. Stress at work does not occur overnight and it is common to find that there are often a long series of tell-tale signs before someone eventually breaks down. The key is in detecting these signs and dealing with the issues before they become a problem.”