Oscar Kilo launches wellbeing toolkit for investigators

Oscar Kilo launches wellbeing toolkit for investigators

A newly-launched wellbeing toolkit designed to offer support to detectives and investigators has been welcomed by Gwent Police Federation.

The first-of-its-kind toolkit has been created with the unique needs of detectives in mind and was developed by Oscar Kilo, the National Police Wellbeing Service, to make sure they are fully aware of the wide range of support available to them and how and where they can access it.

The online resource also aims to provide investigators, their line managers and team leaders with the information they need to build up the resilience they require to continue to carry out their vital work. 

It is available to all officers and staff via the Oscar Kilo website.

Gwent Police Federation wellbeing lead Danielle Threader said she welcomed the launch of the new toolkit and encouraged members to use it whenever necessary.

She said:  "It comes as no surprise to hear that some of our colleagues in investigatory roles were feeling the added pressure of increased workloads combined with decreased staffing levels so this wellbeing toolkit comes at the right time and I would urge colleagues to make full use of it.

"The emotional wellbeing and good mental health of our members is something we take very seriously so we welcome anything that offers them support and assistance in that area.

"We all know about the challenges detectives and investigators face day-to-day so it is really important for them to be able to get some extra support wherever and whenever they need it.

"We are pleased to know these steps are being taken to help them cope with the demands placed upon them."

The toolkit was put together after eight months of work by a National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) working group in close collaboration with colleagues from the Police Federation, the College of Policing, Oscar Kilo, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and other force champions.

The group drew on research, particularly the National Police Wellbeing Service and the Durham University 2019 Wellbeing Survey, which found investigators experienced the lowest levels of wellbeing across policing, and particularly suffered from a loss of emotional energy.

Deputy Chief Constable Jason Hogg, the NPCC lead for investigator resilience, said: "The role of a detective and police staff investigator (PSI) is incredibly rewarding but can also be extremely challenging and can have an adverse impact on health and wellbeing.

"It is therefore more important than ever for officers, staff and supervisors to look after themselves and each other and I encourage you to access the resources in this toolkit."

Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Brunning, who leads the national group, said: "As a career detective, I can think of no other policing specialism that brings more satisfaction and sense of personal pride than being an investigator.  

"Supporting victims and their families through the most harrowing life experiences and finally securing justice is why many of us join policing.

"However, we know that the personal sacrifices investigators make, the continual exposure to trauma and the high workloads can converge to heavily impact on the wellbeing of investigators.

"Across UK policing there is an absolute plethora of wellbeing interventions, initiatives and measures available. However, to date we have not had a central repository for interventions, any measure of their effectiveness and there has been much duplicated effort."

Chief Constable Chris Rowley, NPCC lead for wellbeing and engagement, said: "It is encouraging to see national working groups coming together to deliver something that we believe will be of real benefit to those doing the job, day in, day out."