Lancashire Police failing stress test

Around half of police officers in Lancashire have suffered health issues as a result of on the job stress

Rachel Baines
Rachel Baines

That is the startling revelation of a new survey carried out by the union which represents serving officers in the county.

Rachel Baines, chairman of the Police Federation’s Lancashire Branch called for urgent investment in the force to prevent a damaging blow to morale.

The survey found 48 per cent of Lancashire officers said they had felt stress, low mood, anxiety, or other difficulties with their health

Twenty three per cent said they often or always have unachievable deadlines and 60 per cent of Lancashire Constabulary officers surveyed said their workload was currently too high.

A further 28 per cent of Lancashire officers surveyed said that they have not been able to take their full annual leave entitlement

Ms Baines said: “Officers cannot continue to work at this level, they are beyond capacity. Policing needs investment now and fast.”

“With the summer months approaching and the additional demands being placed on officers, such as policing the fracking, these figures will look a lot worse by the end of the summer. Not being able to take a break or holidays is a basic human right. The situation is not sustainable. More officers are creaking under the pressure.

“This is the tip of the iceberg.”

Ms Baines calls for investment were echoed by Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw, who said he had helped Lancashire Police invest in occupational and mental health.

Lancashire Police said it had invested £200,000 in occupational health support and had more than 40 well-being ambassadors with each division also having a well-being board.

Last year Ms Baines raised concerns police were spending too much time dealing with social and mental health issues on top of their traditional duties, adding increased workload, pressure and stress.