skip to content

Trauma Resilience in UK Policing


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%). 

The 15-minute online survey was based on the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) and included new questions about psychological hazards, trauma exposure and trauma impact in everyday policing, including a new screen for Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the International Trauma Questionnaire (ITQ). 

The survey was designed using focus groups conducted in June 2018 which informed a pilot with 20 Forces across the UK in August 2018. Analysis began in Spring 2019 with force-level reports being available to those forces in which more than 300 serving officers or staff completed the survey. Initial findings on trauma management, wellbeing and working conditions were published in the press with Police Care UK on 9th May 2019 to inform policy change and force-level intervention as soon as possible.

The full peer-reviewed publication on PTSD and Complex PTSD is available here.

Click here for the media presentation and here for the report briefing.

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...