Disability Support Group
Disability Support Group is a forum for officers and staff members to express individual or group concerns, explore and suggest suitable solutions and share information about new developments. The group also acts as a channel to communicate effectively and widely throughout the organisation.
In 2020, due to covid-19 a number of officers felt that due to their own vulnerabilities and a requirement for them to work from home that this would be held against them when it came to promotion opportunities. Meaningful discussions took place with supervisors and line managers and a considerable amount of work has been done to remove this fear and to stop stigmatisation of officers and staff within the force.
Traumatic Risk Management - TRiM
TRiM is a peer to peer, independent and voluntary service providing confidential support to all police staff. TRiM allows individuals to talk through work related traumatic incidents such as a sudden death or a fatal RTC etc. Trained TRiM assessors will be present during conversations about trauma incidents and can signpost to further support if it is felt that it would be beneficial.
TRiM has offered support to many people from all force areas such as the Force Control Centre (FCC), Response, Roads Policing Unit (RPU), Protecting Vulnerable People (PVP) and Armed Police Unit (APU), and offers support to those under PIM investigation also. TRiM is available and used by staff member who are new to the force as well as those due to retire in a matter of months.
Key questions and key barriers that may prevent staff from seeking support:
- There is a stigma that officers and police staff are weak if they seek help, this is not the case. Self-care, mental health awareness and seeking support is a strength.
- There is a fear that conversations won’t remain confidential and could be brought up during promotion etc. This is not the case, confidentiality can only be broken if the individual declares something unlawful or leads the assessor to believe they may harm themselves or another. These instances will be dealt with accordingly at the time.
- There is a myth that TRiM will prevent progression into some specialist areas such as firearms, this is not the case as it does not appear on an individual’s OHU record unless a referral is made. A referral is only made where relevant, agreed and in the individual’s best interest.
Women’s Network of Bedfordshire
To Develop, Share and Celebrate Together
The aims of this support network is to improve the working and living environment for women across the force and our wider partnership of professionals across Bedfordshire. It looks to provide support for all colleagues and is open to both female and male police officers as well as police staff, volunteers and professionals across the partnerships that work with the force.
The network discusses and responds to issues affecting both work and personal life, enables women to build on their own skill sets as well as supporting each other. Some of the issues dealt with includes: health and wellbeing, skills development, operational gender issues, promotion of work-life balance, maternity and adoption leave, and mental health. It also aims to highlight the positive values of women and the contribution they bring to Bedfordshire.
Since inception of the women’s network in 2018, it has supported several campaigns including the Red Box Project and the re-launch of the Bumps and Babes group. It has supported colleagues through fairness at work issues and also hosted a very successful ‘Time for Me’ event, which had 80+ attendees. Recent initiatives have included a focus on mental health, well-being and the menopause.
- Diversity Support Group
- Police Federation
- Police Superintendents Association
- Christian Police Association
- LGBTQ+ Support Network
- Neuro Diversity support network