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Tool for tracking officer trauma and incident attendance in development

The National Police Wellbeing Service, working with the Federation, has allocated funding to kick-start the project.

A tool which would monitor traumatic events and incidents that officers are exposed to with a view to signpost appropriate interventions is in development stages.

The project was first championed by the Police Federation’s Wellbeing Lead Belinda Goodwin - and the National Police Wellbeing Service has since allocated funding. 

Service Director Andy Rhodes told Police Oracle that policing has all the tools for an “end-to-end trauma support model” but that interventions need to be structured, data-driven and formalised.

“What we want to see through this trauma-tracker are all these interventions being data-driven, rather than left to chance,” he said.

"A good supervisor will make sure this is happening, but we can't rely on individuals to drive this.

“It’s [also] got a lot of attractions for the employer in terms of making sure that they are delivering their duty of care.”

The idea is that a set of ‘traumatic events’ are established and data analytical tools are then used to track which officers are attending and how frequently – with a range of interventions being made available as appropriate.

Data visualisation company ‘Tableau’ will be used, and service provider InterWorks. The project is currently looking for pilot forces.

Mr Rhodes added: “The more tricky bit is then deciding who has that data and what they do with it – the reach out needs to be very thought-through.

“It may well be as simple as sending a Wellbeing Co-ordinator down to see a team on a briefing to say, ‘Look we're here because we know you've been through a bad patch, these are the things that are offered to you’.”

Belinda Goodwin explained the idea is similar to what will be done with Operation Hampshire – using the data to inform what can be put in place to improve officer safety.

“[With trauma exposure] it's almost like, if I go to an incident, and someone smacks me in the mouth then no one takes any notice of the fact that I’m bleeding.

“And I get in my car and I go to another incident, and someone slaps me around the face. And I'll get back in the car and go to another incident and someone pushes me over. I'm getting all these injuries, but no one’s taking any notice of it.”

For Mr Rhodes: “We've got quite a lot in British policing going on to help people with this. It's just the missing piece of the jigsaw to drive the standard up and the consistency of this data.”

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