The Government takes the mental health and wellbeing of our police extremely seriously and we understand that the current crisis will have an impact on all of those working in policing, including those who have re-joined forces to support the response to Covid-19.
We have invested in programmes which offer help directly to police officers and staff. This includes £7.5 million to fund the development of the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), which was launched in April 2019.
The NPWS has developed evidence-based guidance, advice, tools and resources which can be accessed by forces, as well as individual officers and staff. This helps Chief Constables in their duty to ensure the wellbeing of all officers and staff, by signposting to relevant services and additional support.
However, we want to go further, and have therefore accelerated work to introduce a Police Covenant, recognising the service and sacrifice of those who work, or have worked, in policing and to deliver the practical support they need. The key areas of focus will be physical protection, health and wellbeing and support for families.
Following an 8-week public consultation on the principle and scope of the Police Covenant, we are currently analysing the responses and intend to publish our response during the summer. Mental health and wellbeing support specifically for retired officers, including any additional needs as a result of the Covid-19 response, will be considered as part of this.
The Police Covenant will be put into law as part of the Police Protection and Powers Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech; we aim to introduce the Bill later this session.