Research project awarded National Police Wellbeing Service funding

A University of Huddersfield research project, which will provide a snapshot of policing amidst a global pandemic, has been awarded funding from the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS).

The University’s Director of the Applied Criminology and Policing Centre, Professor Jason Roach, is to lead a team of researchers that will work with the NPWS exploring to what extent the health and wellbeing of the nation’s police officers have been affected.

The idea behind the project originated after Professor Roach recognised how research into the wellbeing of NHS staff working during the pandemic was well documented, but the same couldn’t be said for the nation’s police officers and their psychological, emotional and physical ‘wellbeing’.

The team will initially create a survey that will include general questions such as how the officers felt doing their job during the various phases of the COVID-19 Lockdown.

The project’s second phase will entail conducting numerous interviews with UK police staff, to identify personal accounts of working in policing during the pandemic and to acquire more detailed information relating to findings from the survey. Professor Roach explains, “While the survey will identify ‘the what’ we will need to talk with police staff to understand ‘the why’.”

As well as identifying negative effects impacting on UK police staff wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the research team will also be searching for more positive factors relating to how individuals coped with the negative impact on their wellbeing from working during the pandemic. For example, which coping strategies they used, was it exercise and talking with colleagues, or if there was any specific support provided by their police forces.

When the research project is complete, the findings are to be published in an academic paper and presented to the UK College of Policing, to inform the maintaining of police wellbeing in the case of any further COVID or future pandemics.