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Police respond to damning resignation letter published by police officer

March 2, 2017 2:46 PM
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A senior police officer has said he understands why a "poster girl" cop quit but said it is "sad" that she chose to go public with her concerns over staffing.

Devon and Cornwall police woman Laura Beal published a powerful and damning resignation letter on social media.

She launched a stinging attack on the force for cutting back staff and leaving officers exposed, then shared it on facebook.

During her 13 years she became a "poster girl" - featuring in the "You matter, we care" campaign.

In her damning post, Laura said: "I could see the job I loved and the people I respect get ruined because of an organisation that puts its employees last.

Devon Commander and Chief Superintendent Jim Colwell said he was "sympathetic" to the reasons she gives for leaving the force.

"I would like to formally thank PC Beal for her loyal service, hearing of an officer resigning is sad, particularly when this is done so publicly," he added.

"We do hear concerns from officers and staff and recognise where they are feeling the strain. We acknowledge that these are issues undoubtedly have an impact on staff wellbeing."

In the post Laura wrote: "I know it's personal but I thought I'd share my resignation letter so you all know what this means to me and that it's not been an easy decision. "

In the letter she claims to be covering Mid Devon with one other officer, which she says is inadequate and the claims her treatment in the organisation has caused her anxiety, depression and stress.

She adds: "[Devon & Cornwall Police] staff are not coping, and are suffering because there is no one looking out for them. Please take it from someone who has been personally affected and has been so low she has wondered what the point of it all is, and only through her friends and family been able to see that there is more to life than Policing.

"Front line response is where you need to focus your time and money. This is where the buck stops. We are always called upon when things need doing and when things go wrong in every department."

The social media post has had nearly 600 likes and has been shared over 100 times, with hundreds adding messages of support.

On the reaction, she told DevonLive: "I'm blown away by all the kindness and support I've received from colleagues and strangers alike."

DS Colwell said in a statement that help was available: "Staff wellness is a priority for the Force and we have a series of initiatives in place to assist such as a peer support network, a counselling service and we have implemented the Blue Light programme developed by mental health charity Mind, aimed at emergency services staff.

"Last month the Chief Constable announced that, through additional budget provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner, we will be employing nearly 100 additional police officers onto the streets and into local policing, as well as 50 criminal investigators and 30 online record takers.

"The extra 100 police officers will bring the total number back up to 3,000 and should help to relieve the pressure.

"Being a police officer is not easy. It requires skills and personal resilience which are often unique to the role. We are a supportive Force and will always assist an officer needing help or guidance."

I joined in 2004 having followed in my father's footsteps and was so proud to call myself a Police Officer, however as my career has progressed the total lack of support both governmental and from the Chief Officer Group has made me lose all faith in the job I loved.

I am expected to go on patrol covering MID-DEVON with one other officer most days and this is meant to be adequate staffing and safe. How this can be acceptable is beyond belief. I have always worked to the best of my ability as I had pride in what I did. This however is not possible any more.

As a result of the way I have been treated within this organisation I have to undergo Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as I now suffer with anxiety, depression and stress. I would rather take the massive pay cut and quit than spend one day longer in a job that is making me ill.

I am and was a good Police Officer and you are losing more and more every day, only to be replaced by new recruits who have little to no people skills however are able to answer exams effectively. I have seen Police Officers who are completely incompetent get promoted because it's been too difficult for higher management to manage them so promoting them and moving them is the easy option. I have also seen incredible supervisors in their roles be moved because a space needed filling.

Your staff are not coping, and are suffering because there is no one looking out for them. Please take it from someone who has been personally affected and has been so low she has wondered what the point of it all is, and only through her friends and family been able to see that there is more to life than Policing. Front line response is where you need to focus your time and money. This is where the buck stops. We are always called upon when things need doing and when things go wrong in every department.

I am leaving before this job kills me both physically and mentally. I am not only sad because I see what is potentially an amazing career get ruined by hypocrisy and lack of funding; but also because I know I am not the only one going through this and not everyone that needs the help and support will be as lucky as I am to be able to leave.

I have so many I people I love still in the job and I want so much for their lives to get better and you have the power to make that possible. It is your responsibility to make this right; the front line needs more officers, leadership and managerial support.

Laura says she has now started her own business that will launch in March, a dog pampering business called Naturally Pawsome Grooming.

Source: plymouthherald.co.uk

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