Police resilience and well-being trial sparks positive results for front line officers

A six-month trial examining the resilience and well-being of more than 1,000 serving police officers and staff has culminated in a free online mindfulness package being made available to the service. ​The randomised control trial split police officers and staff into three groups – one who used ‘Mindfit Cop’ (more of which anon), another who used a different mindfulness app and website and a group who didn’t use either product.

Involving upwards of 1,300 officers and staff*, the trial found those serving officers and staff using the two mindfulness products had improved average performance in their job, resilience and well-being in comparison to the group who were not using either product.

The result was the creation of a free online mindfulness package, the aforementioned ‘Mindfit Cop’, which officers and staff can complete in half-hour sessions over eight weeks.

‘Mindfit Cop’ was developed by Detective Inspector (DI) Jenni McIntyre-Smith from Bedfordshire Police and leading UK mindfulness trainer Michael Chaskalson. Working with DI McIntyre-Smith and well-being researchers from the University of East Anglia, the College of Policing provided funding to design the programme and carry out the trial.

Pressures and demands of the role

Rachel Tuffin, director at the College of Policing, explained: “Several recent surveys have shown those working in policing are less likely than other Emergency Services personnel to seek help and support to deal with the pressures and demands their jobs entail. DI McIntyre-Smith’s programme is one practical option. ‘Mindfit Cop’ has been successfully trialled and is a free and innovative resource developed by policing, for policing.”

DI McIntyre-Smith wanted to bring mindfulness into policing after completing her own eight-week course and realising its benefits when working in a fast-paced and pressurised job. “I knew then that I wanted to make this training available to policing as there were so many benefits. I’m so pleased with the results of this project and so proud that my work can now be used by everyone working in policing across England and Wales.”

Rachel Tuffin added: “In the National Police Well-Being Service, we’re developing other practical toolkits and products which officers and staff can access at any time as part of our ongoing commitment to improve their mental and physical health support.”

*The police forces which took part in the randomised control trial were Avon and Somerset, Bedfordshire, the Cambridgeshire Constabulary, the Hertfordshire Constabulary and South Wales

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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