The Home Office is looking at offering police officers – particularly those
who routinely carry guns, work undercover or investigate paedophiles – regular
medicals to check their stress levels and mental health.
The Government has set up a working party to see if interviews and
questionnaires might help officers to cope better with the mental strain of
Those who feel under pressure could then receive further professional help,
according to chief superintendent Mike McAndrew of the Superintendents’
Association. McAndrew told the BBC there was a "macho culture" in the
police that often made it difficult for officers suffering from stress to come
Line managers were often not trained to spot the signs of stress. There were
also issues of confidentiality and worries about career progression when it
came to reporting stress.
Ministers were concerned about occupational health in the police and, in
particular, the high level of sickness among officers, he added.
Scotland Yard has already put a limit on the amount of time officers spend
in its paedophile unit amid fears for their mental health.