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Police Firearms Officers Association

The Defence Police Federation funds its member’s membership of the Police Firearms Officers Association. The PFOA is a welfare organization that has many years of experience looking after firearms officers and their families. Below is an outline of the support they offer and how you can access it.

The PFOA has been created to support all those involved in firearms operations, and their families. It is managed by serving and retired police officers with many years’ experience in this field. PFOA offer a unique package of support for officers and their families, which is supported by ACPO Firearms, The Police Federation of England & Wales, The Superintendents Association and the Public and Commercial Services Union. We are a non-political, not for profits Association.

The latest PFOA Newsletter can be read here.

How do I access PFOA Support?

Request for support can be made in several ways:

In person by contacting the PFOA direct on 01354 697890 (Mon-Fri 9-5).

Through your local DPF Representative: (Branch Representative / Area Secretary)

Via Claire Batt – DPF Welfare Officer: / 07595 568 608

Via Ian Collins – PFOA Force Co-Ordinator:

What support is there?

The PFOA will provide the appropriate support to assist you with your concerns. We can provide the following support services:

  • PFOA NLP Coaches
  • Counselling
  • EMDR – Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
  • CBT – Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Hypnotherapy – Not for those who have DV status vetting
  • 24/7 Welfare Support Phone Line

We will take a view on any request for support, however we do not fund any legal costs, arrange debt consolidation or pay for private medical treatment.

How do I contact a PFOA Coach?

PFOA Coaches will make themselves known to you. If there are no Coaches at the location you work at the PFOA will find the nearest one to you. Coaches are serving officers working shifts, so only contact them direct if you see them at work. Otherwise please call the PFOA office or contact Claire or Ian to arrange Coaching.

NLP Coaching is particularly useful for anxiety, stress, lack of confidence or phobias.

How do I access counselling?

PFOA approved counsellors are situated around the UK. Any request for counselling must go through the PFOA office. This can be requested from you direct or via Claire or Ian.

Counselling is a more long term support process. The PFOA will need to know what the problem is before they can decide on the best form of counselling. We provide EMDR, CBT and hypnotherapy as well as routine counselling. Six sessions will be authorized immediately. Further sessions can be authorized after a written request by the counsellor to the PFOA.

If you receive counselling from the PFOA we will let the DPF know you are receiving this support. We will not discuss with the DPF the reason why you are seeing the counsellor. The PFOA do have a responsibility to both you and the MDP should the counsellor you are seeing consider you are a risk to National Security or a risk to yourself or others. All PFOA counsellors sign an agreement with the PFOA accepting their responsibility.

What is the 24/7 Support Line?

PFOA trained personnel staff the Support Line. They have received training in Mental Health First Aid, suicide awareness and training by the Samaritans. They are available for you to call if you are having difficulties dealing with a situation in your life. The support line does not deal with issues around duties or conditions of work. It is designed for those who are in need of speaking to someone when they are at their most vulnerable. If you have been involved in a death or serious injury incident at work or are suspended from duty you will be placed on the Support Line Programme.  The number for the Support Line is: 0800 206 1752  Option 1 For assistance including in the moment support  Option 2 For the 24/7 GP  (Please log in to view the access code for this service) Option 3 For any other PFOA related enquiries

Being a Police Officer can be stressful at times. This stress can also extend to your loved ones. The PFOA recognises this and has introduced a new Welfare Support Programme for you and your family. We have a designated Welfare Officer and on call phone staff ready and waiting to take your call.

What is the Welfare Support Programme?

The WSP offers a 24-hour 365-days a year telephone support line for you and your family where you can speak directly to our trained staff regarding the issues that concern you. Our telephone staff have had training in police discipline procedures and post incident procedures. They are certificated in mental health first aid, suicide awareness and have had training from the Samaritans. They are here to listen to your concerns and help you to get the best support available. This support could include Counselling and PFOA NLP Coaching.

So what would make you use this service?

Stress and anxiety are part of everyday living and you develop your own personal systems for dealing with them in order for you to get on in life. Most of your coping systems come from training and experience. However, you may be suspended from duty, under investigation or just having a particularly stressful time personally, all of which may present a whole new set of challenges that you are unlikely to have encountered before. Therefore, you learn on the ‘hoof’ and sometimes don’t create the best systems for dealing with this new pressure.

*The Support Line is not for enquiries such as duties or workplace disputes.

Who can use this service?

The phone support line is available to DPF members and immediate family members – Partners – Any person living in the same household – Dependants of officer.

Talking to someone about an issue is a key element in finding a solution. Our staff will listen to you without being judgemental and you can be safe in the knowledge that what you discuss with them will stay between you and them, unless it falls into the following categories where we cannot guarantee confidentiality:-

  1. You state/infer you are going to harm yourself or someone else.
  2. You state or infer that you are going to, or have done something to threaten National Security.
  3. You admit/infer your part in attempting, committing or about to commit a serious offence.

If you or a family member feels like a chat, then give us a call and let us help you find a solution to your problem. We’re here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – just for you. 0800 206 1752  Option 1 For assistance including in the moment support  Option 2 For the 24/7 GP (Please log in to view the access code for this service) Option 3 For any other PFOA related enquiries

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