Tens of thousands of police days lost in Wales due to mental health issues

Tens of thousands of days are being lost in the police due to mental health issues, ITV Wales can reveal.

A Freedom of Information request found 27,000 days were lost in one year in Wales due to stress and psychological illness.

PC Kelda Griffiths has been in service for 16 years and told ITV News the increase in verbal and physical abuse takes it's toll on officers.

"A lot of staff are struggling. You can physically watch people absolutely drained, sat at their desk who just don't know where to turn. Anyone who is frontline, or dealing with frontline situations are going to see things that will affect you for the rest of your life"

PC Kelda Griffiths has experienced violence as an officer for Gwent Police

Last year, Kelda was assaulted whilst off duty and is still recovering both physically and mentally.

Gwent Police say they are working hard to improve mental wellbeing within the force. They say figures are going up year on year because more officers feel supported to admit they are struggling.

Figures show days lost due to mental wellbeing have increased year on year. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Alisa Quartermaine, Wellbeing Lead at Gwent Police said mental health is one of the top reasons people take time off work.

"We're seeing an increase in the numbers because they're supported by the force to enable them to come forward. Whereas several years ago they wouldn't have said if they were suffering in any way."

The FOI request also found that since 2014, North Wales Police has lost 50,781 days due to stress and mental health issues. South Wales lost 46,507 and Gwent Police lost 23,063.

Dyfed Powys police did not supply any information.

Figures show the amount of days lost due to psychological illness are rising in general across all forces.

South Wales Police

  • 2014 - 5603

  • 2015 - 9644

  • 2016 - 9652

  • 2017 - 12,038

  • 2018 - 9570

  • 2019 (Latest Available figures to April) 3369

North Wales Police

  • 2014 - 8481

  • 2015 - 8926

  • 2016 - 9768

  • 2017 - 8641

  • 2018 - 11583

  • 2019 (Latest Available figures to April) 3382

Gwent Police

  • 2014 - No Data

  • 2015 - 3447

  • 2016 - 5205

  • 2017 - 5230

  • 2018 - 6085

  • 2019 (Latest Available figures to April) 3096

Dyfed Powys - Did not provide data