Ch Supt Kevin Purcell: New officers welcomed to the force
Over the next few months the county will see an influx of new officers joining our existing teams. This has been made possible thanks to the commitment from both West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion and our Chief Constable Anthony Bangham and, I’m sure you’ll agree, is great news.
Our new officers will be a mix of our student recruits and experienced officers transferring from another police force, and in fact some of them are already in post.
Increasing the numbers of officers we have across the county will help us to fill some of the gaps and help us to improve and provide an even better service to our local communities, as well as mean our current officers and staff have more support.
Police officers and staff regularly see and hear things most people will never experience throughout their whole lives and there is absolutely no doubt this will have a significant impact on mental health.
A recent study by Police Care UK found that, nationally, one in five police officers suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
As a force we are working closely with the National Police Wellbeing Service and Police Care UK to improve the support that is available for any of our workforce who may be affected by mental health related issues and are constantly looking at ways we can improve well-being.
One thing that is really important is that our officers take their refreshment breaks which can often mean they will have the occasional cuppa in public. If you do see them don’t be afraid to go up and chat to them, they’ll be more than happy to talk about their role, especially with your children and grandchildren.
We all know how important health and wellbeing is, whether mental or physical health whatever job we do, and policing is no different. If we look after our staff they will undoubtedly be better placed to look after you our local communities.
During the warmer weather and summer months we do tend to see an increase in calls for our service and over the past year or so have been carrying out work to raise awareness of when you should ring the police or when another agency might be more suitable, or sometimes it may just not be appropriate at all.
I would urge people to take note of this as by making the right call means officers can be where they are needed, when they are needed and we can make sure they can be there to help those who need them the most.
The work carried out by our officers and staff to keep the public safe is astounding and I hope our communities do feel reassured they are doing all they can to achieve our vision of protecting people from harm and support them in the difficult job they do.
As we move towards the summer months there will be plenty of community events taking place at various locations throughout the county which I know officers from our safer neighbourhood teams will be looking to attend.
This is a great opportunity for you to get to know the team and officers who are responsible for policing your local area, and I would urge anyone who is going along to these events and sees an officer to stop and have a chat with them.
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