Once a fortnight a police officer takes his own life, one in five suffers with PTSD-the shocking reality of our police officers after years of austerity cuts and continuous abuse.

  • thehaveringdaily.co.uk

Shocking figures have revealed that one in five police officers across the country suffers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and even more horrific is the fact that once a fortnight a police officer takes his own life.

Last week PC William Sampson aged just 27 years old ended his life. PC Sampson was facing trial for an incident shown on social media-the biggest jury our police officers face on a daily basis.

“I remember being in one of the riots,” tells us a former officer. “We were being assaulted badly, yet members of the public just stood and watched us being assaulted and even filmed us.

“We tried to shrug it off when we finished work, or perhaps even joke about it, but it doesn’t go away. It stays with you. The constant battering you receive, the constant scrutiny you are under, the public not only film you when you attend a 999 call but actively obstruct you from doing your job. This is what it is like not once a week, but non stop.”

Our emergency service workers have paid the price of years of austerity and cuts that have left all three of our services literally on their knees and now so many suffer the aftermath of PTSD and many even with Complex PTSD.

An article in the Sun revealed how the Policing Czar Sir Michael Barber has added his pennies worth and told police officers they should stop being social workers. Unbelievable is the fact that they have been made to be social workers by those who have decimated the police force, caused the issues in the first place and now happily shift the blame back on the police.

What are the police to do the next time they receive a call from a person in desperate mental health need as there aren’t enough mental health nurses or support areas in our community for them and the only people out there who can attend are as usual our police, are they supposed to say sorry we can’t help you now, we aren’t social workers? Clearly not.

A survey undertaken in 2018 by Dr Jess Miller from Cambridge University’s Department of Sociology clearly highlighted how the rates of PTSD in the UK police service are almost five times higher than in the UK population.

Researchers back then called for a national mental health strategy to be put into place. This survey was one of the biggest country wide undertaken that focused on police wellbeing and screened for clinical symptoms of PTSD and Complex PTSD. Researchers analysed 16,857 serving officers and operational staff. The research team found that 90% of police workers who responded had been exposed to trauma. Of these, one in five reported experiencing either PTSD or Complex PTSD symptoms in the last four weeks.

Former officer and founder of PTSD 999, a non profitable organisation Gary Hayes told the Havering Daily:

“So many members of our emergency workers are struggling and so many are on the periphery. Police officers face daily abuse and this is a really difficult time for them.

“Basic issues like the fact that they don’t even have a canteen to sit and chat with after an incident now, they eat in cars and get abuse or on the go and get shouted at for eating. Plus social media distorts everything police officers do and only shows the public one side, generally a negative one.

“You could go to a traumatic event and it will stay with you for years before you develop PTSD. This then impacts your whole life, your relationship with friends, family and everyone around you suffers.

“Sadly PTSD is like a hot potato at the moment, nobody wants to acknowledge it. It is a dirty word.”

Yet the facts are clearly there and our emergency service workers are struggling, especially our police officers.

This is a public sector health crisis that needs to be urgently addressed by the government, but will it? We all know the answer to that.

Now is the time for a dedicated Mental Health Strategy to be put into place by the government for our police services right across the country. Each police service is doing what it can with its over stretched resources but it is time for our ministers to step up to the mark and take note of what police officers are undergoing.

Being a police officer really is the hardest role in our society today.The constant battering and scrutiny, never doing anything right, trial by social media, abuse be it either verbal of physical, austerity cuts, the list is long.

Our officers need our support now, there are so many right across our communities who literally put that uniform on everyday and hope to make a difference and most importantly are there for us when we need them.

Dr Jess Miller sums it up perfectly, she states that officers are now ‘maladjusted to the extraordinary’ without even knowing it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: