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Wellbeing of investigators toolkit

This national wellbeing of investigators toolkit has been delivered under the direction of the NPCC recruitment retention and wellbeing of investigators group. The toolkit provides investigators, their line managers and senior leaders with a raft of interventions that have proven benefits and are graded to show ease of implementation, cost of implementation and effectiveness. Interventions are categorised into leadership, personal resilience, protect and prepare the workforce, creating the environment and mental health.

This toolkit has been designed for investigators with the aim of ensuring anyone who works in an investigative role in policing can feel heard, valued and know where to seek wellbeing support if they need it.

Scroll down the page to access guidance, resources and examples of interventions by forces which will provide investigators, their line managers and leaders with the information they need to build up their resilience to continue doing the critical job that they do.

Introduction

This toolkit has been the culmination of eight months of work by the National Working Group, who have worked closely with colleagues in the College of Policing, Oscar Kilo, Police Federation, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and force champions in order to identify best practice.

The group have drawn on research, particularly the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS) and Durham University 2019 wellbeing survey, which demonstrated that investigators experience the lowest levels of wellbeing across policing, and particularly suffer from a loss of emotional energy.

Even though this toolkit was specifically designed with the wellbeing of investigators the main focus, many of these interventions are applicable or adaptable to other policing and emergency services roles.

DCC Jason Hogg (Thames Valley Police)

As the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) lead for investigator resilience, I am delighted to announce the first iteration of the wellbeing of investigators toolkit.

The toolkit has been delivered by the ‘Wellbeing of Investigators’ working group whose aim is to understand the national picture relating to the wellbeing of detectives/police staff investigators (PSIs).

The group is chaired by DCS Martin Brunning and they are working closely with colleagues in the College of Policing, Oscar Kilo, Police Federation, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, and force champions to identify best practice and share it with colleagues nationally.

The role of a detective and PSI is incredibly rewarding but can also be extremely challenging and can have an adverse impact on health and wellbeing. It is therefore more important than ever for officers, staff and supervisors to look after themselves and each other and I encourage you to access the resources in this toolkit.

I am truly grateful to everyone who has committed so much of their valuable time, energy and enthusiasm in bringing this toolkit together. It is an excellent resource and I encourage all police forces to be proactive in using the resource to ensure our Investigators receive the support and help they deserve in the important work they do to bring offenders to justice and keep our communities safe. 

CC Chris Rowley, NPCC Lead for Wellbeing and Engagement 

As NPCC Lead for Wellbeing and Engagement, it is my pleasure to support the publication of this toolkit. It is encouraging to see national working groups coming together to deliver something that we believe will be of real benefit to those doing the job, day in day out.

Those working within policing are operating in an extremely challenging environment and are frequently exposed to traumatic events which is why it is so important that we work together to provide the support they deserve.

My thanks go to all those involved in the creation of this toolkit and I hope that it will provide investigators, their line managers, and leaders with the tools they need to build up their resilience to continue doing the critical job that they do.

DCS Martin Brunning (Cambridgeshire Constabulary)

As a career detective, I can think of no other policing specialism that brings more satisfaction and sense of personal pride than being an investigator. Supporting victims and their families through the most harrowing life experiences and finally securing justice is why many of us join policing. However, we know that the personal sacrifices investigators make, the responsibility of supporting victims, the continual exposure to trauma and the high workloads can converge to heavily impact on the wellbeing of investigators. 

The Durham University 2019 National Police Wellbeing Survey demonstrated that investigators, both staff and officers, experience the lowest levels of wellbeing across policing, and particularly suffer from a loss of emotional energy. The poor wellbeing of investigators is also well documented in other academic research. Senior leaders, line managers and individual investigators have a duty to proactively improve wellbeing among this group.  

Across UK policing there is an absolute plethora of wellbeing interventions, initiatives and measures available. However, to date we have not had a central repository for interventions, any measure of their effectiveness and there has been much duplicated effort.

I would urge everyone to familiarise themselves with this resource regardless of your current state of wellbeing. As we know, our mental health, like our physical health fluctuates, so it is wise to build resilience, and to stay as healthy as possible when our work is demanding, traumatic and often relentless. I urge senior leaders to consider the benefits of interventions not currently available in your force and to continue to share your evidence-based solutions with this community.

This is the first iteration of the toolkit, but it will continue to grow and refine as additional interventions are shared and their positive impact assessed.

Leadership
Personal resilience

Protect and prepare the workforce

Creating the environment

Mental health