Study: Police officers experience increased level of work stress

Photo: SafetyCulture Library

A recent study from the Workplace Research Centre at Sydney University recommends a national review of police safety after it found that many police officers feel burnt out and are stressed by the increasing danger of their job.

According to, the five year investigation of more than 600 police officers from NSW, Victoria, the Northern Territory and the Australian Federal Police found Australian police “have one of the highest levels of perceived threat to health and safety at work of any industry.”

The level of pressure on all police officers, especially senior police, to work even harder and longer increased between 2007 and 2011. further reported that a former policeman said his colleagues injured at work developed suicidal tendencies due to lack of support from police management.

NSW Police Association president Scott Weber said the death of Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson last month has highlighted the risks police officers had to face every day and the importance of ensuring the safety of cops.

“The incident highlights the dangers of policing. You put them on the uniform every morning and kiss your loved ones goodbye and you may not come home,” said Mr Weber.

“Policing is so dangerous and unpredictable. The biggest issue is that trust (between officers and their managers) needs to be built up through rapport and consultation.”

The report is calling for a national review of police safety. It points to “serious gaps in the identification, minimisation, and control of hazards and risks associated with the work of the police organisation.”

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