This year’s National Police Wellbeing Survey saw the highest survey response yet with 36,633 officers, staff and volunteers taking part – which is a 60% increase on the number of respondents from last year.
The independent survey, carried out with the Policing Research Unit at Durham University, ran for seven weeks from October to December to give every member of the policing workforce across England and Wales the opportunity to tell us how they truly feel at work so we can build a really clear picture of what we need to work on.
The findings for police officers particularly, confirm that policing continues to be a challenging and stressful occupation. General wellbeing returned to pre-pandemic levels, and job satisfaction and a sense of being valued by the public have declined.
However, having a sense of meaningful work remains at a high level, as does the sense of connection to colleagues and overall mental wellbeing.We have also seen an increase in a sense of competence, and a decrease in depression.
Leadership skills of front-line police officers and staff is a key priority for policing and the findings in this survey have demonstrated how critical supportive leadership is to individual wellbeing, and attitudes and behaviours.
This will be drawn into the ongoing work within the College of Policing to develop the National Police Leadership Centre, which will have an initial focus on first-line supervisors.
Andy Rhodes, Service Director for the College of Policing’s National Police Wellbeing Service said,
“Some of the findings are challenging and should be seen in the context of a demanding year for policing as we have emerged from the pandemic combined with a series of events which have drawn significant criticism of the service. This survey captures the voice of over 36,000 police officers and staff and enables police chiefs, the College of Policing and National Police Wellbeing Service to prioritise the health of their people.
“There are enduring problems that we must take steps to address. In particular the problem of hindrance stressors – this leaps off the page this year which is why it has been identified as a Police Covenant and HMICFRS priority.’’