There as been a big rise in the number of police officers off work with stress over the last 10 years. In the most recent financial year to March 2015, 557 officers were signed off work with stress, an increase from 405 in 2004-05.
The data, revealed by the Metropolitan Police in response to a Freedom of Information request, has 3 categories– stress, stress-related illness, and post traumatic stress disorder.
The largest category of absence through stress has risen by an average of 5% per year over a 10 year period.
The numbers are lowest for post traumatic stress disorder, though it is the category which has seen the most significant increase, rising from 5 to 29 cases last year, perhaps due to greater recognition of the condition.
PTSD is caused by witnessing stressful, frightening or distressing events and sufferers may relive the traumatic events through flashback and nightmares.
While 557 is just 1.7% of the Met’s 31,780 officers their absence does have an impact. Previous information released by the Met reveals that in 2014, 24,000 working days were lost due to illness caused by stress.