There are no jobs quite as sad as those involving children.
The last few weeks has been simply dreadful with the deaths of Mylee Billingham, Jasmine Forrester and brothers Corey and Casper Platt-May.
I think it’s fair to say you can sense the impact on the force on these jobs. Everyone at work feels the sadness of the loss and the impact on families but also the huge impact on colleagues who are dealing with the case. In policing we have a rare privilege of entering people’s lives at their greatest moment of need. Sometimes that can be their final moment and it’s vital we do all we can for them.
I have spoken to some of the officers in these cases. I said that we can all be assured that every team in the force would have done the job exactly as well as they did. The fact it fell to them to do their duty does not take away everyone’s gratitude or the thanks they are due. It actually reinforces our collective pride that we are in a force where we know people will deal with such terrible events with the compassion we would hope to see.
Nevertheless we have had some horrible jobs this year and it’s not just confined to these cases. As part of the People Deal we brought in the BWell scheme and we are mobilising this support at scale. In these big critical cases People and Organisation Development are rapidly contacting staff whether they be call handlers, ARVs, response or forensic staff who have dealt with these jobs so we can offer the friendship and service our people must be offered in these cases. We are trying to make this as comprehensive as possible.
It is not only the big jobs that matter. We know that the exposure to lots of incidents can have a cumulative effect on people that can mean a small issue can break them. Sometimes people may be well at the start but actually the impact can be a slow burn. BWell is there for you when you need to access it and it is vital all leaders understand the help that is available. I am proud we are in a force where there is no stigma in seeking help.
Thank you to all of you who have worked on the recent tragic cases. I and your colleagues are very proud of your response.