Cops Like Us
Following officers from Staffordshire’s overstretched emergency response team, focusing on the changing nature of policing and the personal impact on officers.
As society changes, crime changes – and many of Staffordshire Police’s long-serving officers have experienced this first-hand. One of the biggest shifts is around the way domestic abuse is handled. Historically, police saw domestic arguments as a private matter, but now there is growing police awareness around not only dealing with the perpetrators of abuse, but also the need to safeguard the victims. A large part of the work of the police is now about protecting the public and seeking help for victims of abuse.
All domestic incidents are treated as priority calls, but there are an increasing number that turn out to be nothing more than petty squabbles, and officers are frustrated about the amount of time they spend resolving family arguments and advising people on their personal lives, diverting resources from genuine crime – burglaries, car thefts and antisocial behaviour.
The current political situation also means the risks of the job are changing rapidly. From hate crime to being on standby to respond to riots or terrorism, the police officers in Stoke constantly have to be on their toes, never knowing what might be behind the next door they knock on.
The pressure that their jobs puts on their professional and home lives is causing many to transfer to other departments or leave the force altogether. In 2018, 23 per cent of Staffordshire officers left response policing.
Stoke-on-Trent, and the police force who serve it, is in a time of transition. This series explores the highs and lows of working in one of the most demanding and challenging jobs in the UK. Show less