Support programme is helping hundreds of vulnerable officers

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Charity and staff association jointly fund scheme

A support service for vulnerable officers is dealing with 261 active cases across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Welfare Support Programme (WSP) offers a phone line for those who have been involved in a death or serious injury incident, been suspended from duty, served misconduct papers or are considered at risk.

It has even helped support two members of the public who came to the aid of a police officer injured during the London Bridge attack.

Personnel at every force in England and Wales have used it since it was set up in June 2015.

The WSP is jointly-funded by the Police Firearms Officers Association (PFOA) and the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW).

Some 28 per cent of those receiving its assistance are officers involved in an incident involving a death or serious injury.

Mark Williams, CEO of the PFOA, said: “We are seeing many officers feeling the effects of protracted investigations, historic issues in their lives, and exposure to extreme trauma whilst carrying out their duty.

“Lack of trust in the system and lack of understanding also play a key part in why people turn to the Federation, WSP and indeed the PFOA.”

Che Donald, PFEW vice chairman, said: “The PFEW is committed to supporting our members and their families. The WSP delivers a first class service of listening, signposting and proactively contacting those who have been referred to the programme.

“We know from the figures and more importantly the feedback how important this service is to all of those involved, including federation representatives.”

All PFEW members can access the service through their federation branch board. PFOA members can access it via the organisation.

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Saturday, 08 August 2020

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