New toolkit for investigators

Oscar Kilo has launched a new toolkit aimed at offering detectives and investigators support with their emotional wellbeing.

The online resource from the National Police Wellbeing Service, has been carefully tailored to fit the specific needs of investigators, ensuring they know where they can reach out for support when needed and making them feel heard, valued and supported.  

It aims to provide those in investigative roles the information they need to build up and maintain their resilience as they continue to carry out the vital work they do and is available to all officers and staff via the Oscar Kilo website.

South Wales Police Federation chair Steve Treharne said:  “I think the last year or so has really highlighted the importance of out members’ mental health and emotional wellbeing so we welcome the launch of this toolkit which will hopefully become a vital resource for our detectives and investigators.

“They often find themselves working under incredible pressure and research indicates increased workloads and staff shortages have been taking a heavy toll on their emotional energy.

“I would really encourage our members to have a look at the toolkit and some of the online sessions that are available to offer help and support.”

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, 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.”