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Trauma Resilience in UK Policing

About the research

The Trauma Resilience in UK Policing project explores how to better support the brain's ability to process trauma exposure and maintain resilience in contemporary operational policing. The project is sponsored by Police Care UK and works in collaboration with the Department of Sociology. Together, we are providing practical techniques, training material and evidence-based insight to bring real effective change to trauma management for police officers, staff and their families.

The project has been reported on by BBC News, BBC Inside out, Channel 4 Dispatches and as well as featuring in the national press, including newspapers, digital coverage and radio throughout 2019. The study has also been selected for the Cambridge Research Evaluation Framework (REF) 2021 and nominated for the Vice Chancellor’s Research Impact and Engagement Awards 2019. 

As the Covid19 pandemic takes hold across the UK this Spring 2020, Dr Jess talks to the Police Federation of England & Wales and to clinical neuropsychologist and New York Times best selling author Dr Rick Hanson about how officers and leaders can keep resilient.

What's been going on...

Read more at: Establishing the evidence base: 'Policing: The Job & The Life' Survey (2018)

Establishing the evidence base: 'Policing: The Job & The Life' Survey (2018)

The UK's first survey to assess trauma management and working conditions in UK policing engaged with 18,175 officers and staff across the UK between October and December 2018. Headline findings set the UK’s first Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) prevalence rate in policing at 1 in 5 and the world’s first Complex PTSD rate in a working population (12%).

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Read more at:  Trauma Impact Processing Techniques (TIPT): providing reliable and practical support

Trauma Impact Processing Techniques (TIPT): providing reliable and practical support

​A feasibility study of post-incident trauma impact processing techniques was conducted between March 2018 - March 2019 with over 70 new recruits at Greater Manchester Police after the arena attack. Findings showed the techniques to be teachable and immediately effective in increasing sense of ease and safety around difficult incidents and recall. New Trauma Impact Processing Training (TIPT) techniques based on the feasibility RCT are now available from Police Care UK. An additional TIPT-Plus module based on qualitiative research into the impact of atypical trauma in specialist roles (such as Child Sexual Exploitation, Call Handling and Firearms) will be available in Spring 2020. A TIPT for Counter Terrorism module is also available.

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Read more at: Understanding extreme and atypical trauma exposure: qualitative research of high-risk roles

Understanding extreme and atypical trauma exposure: qualitative research of high-risk roles

Extensive qualitative research (i.e. focus groups, consultation and job shadowing) was undertaken through Autumn 2018 and into Spring 2019 with SO15 & Counter-Terrorism, emergency call handling, online Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and firearms units. We uncovered how individuals develop unique skills and coping mechanisms to process trauma exposure and provide recommendations for training, assessment and wellbeing support for those in similar high-risk roles.

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Read more at: Validating trauma exposure in policing: creating a police-specific traumatic events checklist

Validating trauma exposure in policing: creating a police-specific traumatic events checklist

Everyday trauma exposure is becoming increasingly accepted as part of contemporary policing, yet there are no means of quantifying it. The final component of this study is to produce the UK’s first police-specific trauma exposure events checklist to enable forces to do just that.

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Read more at: Expert Insight into Covid19 Resilience

Expert Insight into Covid19 Resilience

In order to meet the challenges of the pandemic, we turn to the most influential and insightful voices in resilience and mental health to find out what we can do on the ground to help protect our protectors that much more. Who’s saying what about developing resilience in the police during Covid19...

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Latest news

PTSD and CPTSD in UK Police: Prevalence rates published

8 September 2020

The full peer-reviewed article setting the UK's first ever Police PTSD and CPTSD prevalence rates (at 12% and 8%, equating to one in five with any form of PTSD) is published in Psychological Medicine and available here , now.

Supporting Police through Covid & Black Lives Matter: Blog August 2020

24 August 2020

"The most important thing is to allow the police to talk..and we need to make the effort to listen. That’s the only way we’re going to improve.” In this article from Mental Health at Work, Dr Jess Miller talks to Beckett Frith about the challenges faced by the police as public sympathy wanes due to the lockdown and the...

Blog "The Police Were Traumatised Before Covid19" June 2020

11 June 2020

Jessica Brown's 'Stories To Sit With' article on police trauma exposure is worth a read, narrating experiences of life on the job and the reality of lessons that need to be learned in trauma exposure management. The article also features the Trauma Resilience in UK Policing project with Police Care UK and the Department of...