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Comment: We're determined to do more for frontline wellbeing

Commitments have been made by Chiefs to improve wellbeing support for officers. Policing Minister Kit Malthouse says the government is determined to make it a reality.

Our police do an extraordinary job. They face more danger in a single day than the vast majority of the population do in a lifetime.

And they do so in the name of protecting the public.

That courage, determination and willingness to put others before themselves has shone through throughout my time as Minister for Policing. 

I’ve met officers, staff, and volunteers all over the country and I am always struck by their determination to make a difference.

The impact of dealing with traumatic incidents and some of the worst forms of criminality can be profound and long-lasting. The pressures of the role are felt by the individual and their families.

No more so than the tragic killing of PC Andrew Harper which shook the nation two years ago.

Andrew was a dedicated police officer who, like officers across England and Wales, made his family proud every day.

After his death his family tirelessly campaigned for Harper’s Law – led by his extraordinary widow Lissie – which we are making happen.

Those who kill police officers, or any other emergency workers, while committing crimes, will rightly face mandatory life sentences.

PC Harper died too young, but he has left a legacy which serves to protect our emergency services. This government will always back the police.

I was pleased to attend the Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium on Thursday. 

This is such an important issue for the whole of the emergency responder workforce. And it is an issue that the government takes extremely seriously.

We are determined to ensure the nation does more to honour the service and sacrifice of the police. 

Our Police Covenant recognises the bravery and commitment of current and former members of the police workforce, and through this we are working to ensure they get the support and protection they need.

The focus is on physical protection, health and wellbeing and support for families. 

I am determined to make sure the Covenant has a meaningful and long-lasting impact and that it addresses the issues that really matter, including mental health.

The Covenant will build on the investment we have made in the National Police Wellbeing Service.

The Service provides evidence-based guidance, advice, tools and resources with an emphasis on prevention and identifying mental health issues early so that officers and staff can get help before a problem takes hold.

Fire and rescue staff also epitomise bravery – from operational responders running into burning buildings or rescuing people stranded by floods, to control room staff comforting callers at times of acute distress.

Their contribution is enormous, and their experiences can undoubtedly affect their mental health and wellbeing. That is why the Home Office are supportive of the NFCC’s work to improve the health and wellbeing support provided to fire professionals.

For all our fantastic emergency services, their most precious resource is their people.

The men and women who go to work to keep the rest of us safe must be supported every step of the way.

They have our backs and it is only right that we have theirs.

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