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Trauma Resilience in UK Policing

About the research 2016-2022

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

The project was reported on by BBC News, BBC Inside out, Channel 4 Dispatches and The One Show as well as having featured in the national press, including newspapers, digital coverage and radio throughout 2019. The study was also selected for the Cambridge Research Evaluation Framework (REF) 2021 and nominated for the Vice Chancellor’s Research Impact and Engagement Awards 2019. Here is a testimonial to the work from AC Neil Basu QPM National Lead for Counter Terrorism Policing

“Counter Terrorism Policing is full of officers and staff who do not need to be motivated to stop terrorists. They get up every day to put themselves psychologically and physically in harm’s way on behalf of the public they are sworn to protect. But, behind the badge they are human beings who experience the most terrible things and it has a profound impact that needs training care and support - precisely the kind of training, care and support you provide. I am more grateful for your help than I can possibly express in this short statement but simply I say - thank you.” 

What did we get up to?...

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%).

Read more at: Trauma Impact Prevention Techniques (TIPT)

Trauma Impact Prevention Techniques (TIPT)

A feasibility study of post-incident trauma processing techniques (Randomised Controlled Trial design) 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...

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.

Read more at: The new Police Traumatic Events Checklist (PTEC)

The new Police Traumatic Events Checklist (PTEC)

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 was to produce the UK’s first police-specific trauma exposure events checklist (PTEC) to enable forces to do just that.

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...

Latest news

Policing Trauma and Surfwell on the BBC: We Are England

27 January 2023

Dr Jess joins the amazing Surfwell Team to talk about policing, mental health and the impact of nature and an open mind on trauma resilience. To view the episode trailer, click here

Policing Blog for Global Compassion Coalition

27 January 2023

Dr Jess talks openly about the current pressures on the UK police force and how the dynamic of compassion works both ways between policing and the social world we live in. To read the blog and hear more about the fantastic work of this pioneering coalition, click here

Sunday Times article : Special Measures, trauma and policing

1 August 2022

processed-7607bc32-902b-4cec-822c-ab29467a0ccd_mfykmuy2.jpeg Article in the Sunday Times featuring our research on working conditions and PTSD in contemporary UK policing, see: What it’s really like to be a police officer: ‘We get called murderers and rapists’ | The Sunday Times Magazine | The Sunday Times (

More project talk...