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World’s first police specific traumatic events checklist launched by Police Care UK

Police Care UK launched the world’s first police traumatic events checklist (PTEC) this month, following close collaboration of The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) and the University of Cambridge.

The checklist is meant to be a voluntary means of recording trauma exposure and data, providing the ability to document what an individual is exposed to as part of their day job, and in-so-doing record their resilience and any change over time.

In a statement, the PFEW said: “Trauma exposure is an often-frequent part of everyday policing in the UK and has been for many years.

“It is recognised as posing a significant threat to wellbeing as its impact can be dramatic and long-lasting on police officers and police staff – in other words leaving many with some form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

The PTEC aims to support career development, decisions on promotion, on the job training, attitudes towards general wellbeing and counselling, and can provide an early warning on wider stress levels according to the PFEW.

The PFEW has worked closely with Dr Jess Miller, Police Care UK Director of Research, and the University of Cambridge, to code over 1500 of officers’ and staff’s worst reported incidents at work.

A statement by the PFEW said: “As part of the research an anonymous online trauma survey was conducted – over 18000 staff and officers responded, over 7000 in detail, revealing the serious and wide-ranging concerns that the subject carries.

“Leading several trials across different forces and ensuring responsible peer review in 2021, Police Care UK made PTEC freely available to all forces across the UK in September 2023.”

The PTEC chart

Police Care UK CEO, Gill Scott-Moore said: “Since we first highlighted trauma exposure as an issue in 2016, Police Care UK have continued to research and develop innovative initiatives to tackle trauma exposure and resilience in UK policing.

“We are delighted that the Police Covenant is enabling a platform for these effective practices to be adopted by all forces and ensure we are helping to keep people well and meet the needs of modern-day policing.”

The PFEW called on all Chief Constables to follow the lead set by forces such as Sussex and Derbyshire, and integrate PTEC into their internal systems so that exposure to trauma is tracked, quantified, recorded and responded to appropriately and action taken when it is needed and not after the fact.

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