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Department of Sociology

 

Congratulations to Dr Jessica Miller (Department of Sociology), who has been presented with the Early Career Award during the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Impact and Engagement Awards ceremony.

The ceremony was established to recognise and reward outstanding achievement, innovation and creativity in devising and implementing ambitious engagement and impact plans that have the potential to create significant economic, social and cultural impact from and engagement with and for research.

Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, says: “This year’s nominations recognise impressive and inspirational individuals, and strongly reflect our mission to engage the public, tackle real-world problems and improve people’s lives.

Now in their fourth year, the awards were made in four categories: collaboration, early career, established researcher/academic champion and professional service. Each winner receives a £1,000 grant to be used for the development and delivery of engagement/impact activity or relevant training.

This year, Dr Jessica Miller was presented with an Early Career Award for her landmark study into incidences of PTSD in Police officers and staff, in which she found that almost one in five police officers are suffering from PTSD symptoms as a result of their work, yet over two-thirds of those suffering are unaware of their condition.

The data stem from the largest force-wide survey yet undertaken, which included 16,857 of serving officers and operational staff across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The research team found that 90% of police workers who responded had been exposed to trauma, and one in five reported experiencing either PTSD or Complex PTSD symptoms in the past four weeks.

In addition to achieveing widespread media coverage, including in the BBC, ITV NewsGuardianEvening Standard, and BBC Radio 4 Today (02:05:55), the research has also formed the basis of a question from Stephen Morgan MP to Home Secretary, Priti Patel, regarding the steps being taken by the government to ensure the wellbeing of police officers.

Dr Miller said: “Dealing with disturbing experiences is a defining part of policing, but employees have a right to expect resources to protect them from the impact of daily trauma exposure. Without such resources in place, the cost to policing and public safety will just mount up."

Police Care UK, a charity that supports the police and their families and co-funded the study has called for a national policing mental health strategy to be introduced to address what experts are calling a “clinical and public sector crisis”.

Read more about this research project in the University News and on the Policing Trauma website.

 

A World Leader

The Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge is a world-leading centre for teaching and research in Sociology, consistently ranked first in UK league tables by The Guardian, The Times, and the Independent.