Stress Takes its toll on Devon and Cornwall Police


In a Freedom of Information request sent to Devon and Cornwall Police, the BBC found that a drastic rise in stress levels coincided with police cuts.

We have reported before on the rise of stress in the police force and the health care system. Now there are specific figures for the affects of stress on the police force in the south west.

700 days have reported to be lost due to post-traumatic stress, and stress related conditions like anxiety, a dramatic rise from the previous rate, one that coincides with the cut of almost 500 jobs.

These jobs have been cut because of spending shortfalls and savings plans, but the figures imply that it is having a knock on effect as the same work has to be covered by much less people.

In their defence, Devon and Cornwall Police said that the figures did not take into account a series of sub categories, like those who were taking a career break, and so was not representative of the overall stress related absences.

“We monitor absence closely and we know from staff feedback and our providers, who deliver counselling support to staff, that the underlying reasons for psychological disorders are principally personal issues relating to relationships and factors outside the workplace” said chief superintendant Steve Swani in defence.