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Supervisors Must Make Sure Bobbies Are Taking Breaks

Supervisors must ensure bobbies are taking meal breaks if West Yorkshire Police officers are to do their jobs properly, the Federation has warned.

Stress, low mood and burn out are soaring at the force, and morale is plummeting due to the level of demand facing officers.

New figures have shown 85% of West Yorkshire Police officers have experienced stress, low mood, anxiety and other wellbeing problems in the past 12 months.

Nick Smart, Federation Chairman, said: “Officers are working harder, working longer and with higher workloads often without getting proper rest. They are feeling the stress and it manifests itself in poor morale and sickness.”

“We need to revisit officers’ basic entitlements from a welfare perspective and just try to ensure that they are getting their meal breaks. That has slipped off the radar recently, through no fault of anybody’s, but just because everyone is so busy. Officers are entitled to meal breaks and they need that rest and recuperation within a tour of duty.”

Mr Smart warned that performance will suffer and officers’ decision making will be impaired if they are unable to rest and refuel.

Mr Smart added: “It is incumbent on everybody to make sure officers are fighting fit to answer all the calls and that they can get throughout that tour of duty to the best of their abilities.”

The Federation is to launch its ‘Do it Right’ campaign, which will remind officers of their entitlements and supervisors of their responsibilities. It will also help managers to spot the signs of stress and burnout among officers under times of unprecedented demand.

Mr Smart added: “There is no simple fix, but managers need to understand that officers are run ragged and know how best to support them.”

Date posted: March 20, 2017

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