1. ITV Report

Lincolnshire Police to give officers extra days off to 'boost wellbeing'

The force is the first in the country to trial the initiative. Credit: PA

Police in Lincolnshire are being given two extra days off per year as wellbeing leave in a bid to improve their mental and emotional health.

Lincolnshire Police, which employs around 1,800 people, is believed to be the first force to launch such an initiative in the country.

A statement from the force said it acknowledges the demands placed on officers are "great" and can "take a toll" if they are not given the time to rest and recuperate.

This is one of a number of initiatives that we will introduce over the next few months.

I have been most impressed by the commitment of Lincolnshire Police staff and officers but I am increasingly seeing the impact that this can have on their physical and mental wellbeing.

By encouraging our staff to take time to look after themselves I believe that we can make an improvement to how they feel at work.

We hope that this will help to reduce sickness and improve levels of resilience across the organisation.

– Chief Constable Bill Skelly, Lincolnshire Police

It comes after Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary rated Lincolnshire Police as 'good' for overall effectiveness, preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour, investigating crime and reducing reoffending and tackling serious and organised crime.

An investigation by ITV Calendar last year revealed that staff working at the force were absent due to mental health issues 116 times in 2016/17 - up from 93 in 2014/15.

Officers In Lincolnshire will be entitled to as many as 32 days holiday per year after the change, which will come into effect in April.

Recent surveys have shown that those involved in policing are regularly working longer hours than they are obliged to, that the incidents and pressures they face are taking a greater toll on them, and that the ability to recover is being compromised by the current shift patterns.

– Lincolnshire Police statement