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Devon and Cornwall Police

Geographically the largest police force in England.

What we do:

Provide a Police service to the communities within Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Our mission is to - Detect and prevent harm; protect the vulnerable and reduce crime.
Work together as one team to safeguard communities and neighbourhoods.
Be sustainable and resilient and provide a high quality service to the public.
Act in accordance with the national Code of Ethics and our Force standards of behaviour.

Why we became a healthy workplace:

We have over many years aimed to become an employer of choice and support our staff fully in their health, resilience and wellbeing.Policing is at times a demanding, challenging and tough environment in which to work.High standards are expected from the communities we serve, the organisation itself and indeed the public who call on officers and staff, at their greatest time of need. We need a workforce who feel valued, can operate to their maximum efficiency and can take pride and satisfaction in the work they do. The Healthy workplace award offers a chance to recognise individuals for the work they have done to support others and encourages our staff to adopt a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle. 

Engagement in this scheme has enabled us to learn best practice from others in the community and work alongside other businesses that excel in prioritising and supporting the health and wellbeing needs of their people.Supporting our people in a rapidly changing world and environment is very much a top priority. The healthy workplace initiative without doubt supports us in this.

Recent health and well being activities:

A number of staff had previously volunteered to be fitness champions across the force mainly in stations with gyms. This idea was expanded and additional volunteers were recruited as health champions, the two were then combined. We currently have around 200 health champions across the force. Their role is to promote healthy lifestyles and champions choose on how they do this locally with the support of the alliance Health & wellbeing team.

The champions are also increasingly involved in the healthy lifestyle sessions detailed below and assist the team delivering the sessions. Healthy Lifestyle & Weigh in sessions started in 2016 with Cornwall Health promotion providing healthy weigh in sessions at a number of stations across Cornwall. These have continued to grow and are now a regular event across the county. Staff are given the opportunity to have their body weighed on a set of body composition scales, these provide information on body fat percentage, muscle mass, water levels etc. They are then given advice on making improvements to their health.

The sessions are incredibly popular with over 200 staff participating and as a result the force agreed to purchase two set of the body composition scales for the team. Since April we have delivered the sessions across the force area and they are immensely popular. 

Staff are provided with support and guidance towards becoming a healthier weight and leading a healthier life. We have had a considerable number of staff who following the sessions have taken steps to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. A recent survey of attendees showed that over 80% had made a positive lifestyle change as a result.

These sessions also provide staff an informal arena to have discussions about all matters health related and the team use them to promote discussion about mental health and promote the Peer support Network.

Success Story:

James Bendell is based at Saltash as an Acting Police  Sergeant. He has worked with the Force Facilities Manager to develop a gym at Saltash and given up much of his own time to make it work.

From James - "Last year I spent approximately 100 hours of my own time setting up our initial gym at Saltash and to be honest I was extremely proud of what I achieved. However I now have two garages which are being converted into one which is now going to be my new gym which I can offer approximately 50 – 60% more space and I am currently negotiating with the Force Facilities Manager regarding an influx of new equipment so I can offer a full range of CV, weights and body weight equipment for the users.

I am extremely excited with what I can offer. Buildings and Estates have put it into my hands to give me basically what I want. In late 2018 we should have a fantastic facility here which I am very passionate about!"

The wider Cornwall picture is that within the past 7 years Devon and Cornwall Police have gone from 6 to 13 Force gyms within the Cornwall area.  All well equipped with quality fitness equipment.  Saltash Police station has recently undergone a refurbishment and the gym featured as a priority within those plans.

The even wider Devon and Cornwall picture is that over the past 7 years there has been an increase from 12 to 36 Force gyms.

Budgets are always an issue but the Exercise Facilities Manager Sammy Spall has been key to winning a business case to increase the Force gyms budgets and allow the Force to maintain the 36 gyms be fair to all gyms and allow access by all staff and their families.

Quote from Cornwall Police Commander Chief Superintendent Jim Pearce:
“As a geographic area the health and wellbeing of our staff is extremely important as they are essential in delivering an effective police service to our communities. 
We take pride in ensuring there is a high level and varied provision of help and support available to our staff to aid them, not only in their employment but also with personal issues.  We actively promote our initiatives and support new ideas whenever possible.
 As the Senior Management Team, we also try to lead by example taking personal responsibility for our own wellness and aim to promote a happy and healthy work-life balance.”
Chief Superintendent Jim Pearce, BCU Commander

- Director
Occupational Health

Where occupational health was provided, 39% of companies recorded a decline in short-term absence, whilst 28% experienced a reduction in long-term absence [CIPD 2008].

The facts

Musculoskeletal conditions generally rise with age. The age group 50-64 are most affected by sickness absence not to mention the UK 50+ population is expected to increase by 32% between 2008 and 2030.

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