Special wellbeing room installed at divisional HQ in Dundee

The relaxing space is now in place at West Bell Street police station.

A custody inspector has welcomed the addition of a designated wellbeing room at the divisional headquarters on West Bell Street, Dundee.

Inspector Marc Lorente, who is also a Scottish Police Federation rep, applied to have the relaxing space installed through the charity Police Care UK. 

After the application was granted, the charitable organisation set about sprucing up the room within the custody unit. 

They supplied all the furniture, including a sofa bed, which will allow custody officers and support staff to “recharge their batteries” during breaks on their shift. 

Inspector Lorente said: “Back at the beginning of the year, we had an input from the Police Care UK charity at a federation meeting. 

“They basically told us what they could do to help the police family, including support staff, and that they were also funding wellbeing rooms. 

“If anyone wanted to be considered for one, all they had to do was put in an application for it.

“I’m the custody Inspector in Dundee, where there is a total of 50 members of staff, and it’s a pretty stressful job for both support staff and police officers. 

“So I put an application in and it was successful. 

“The charity supplied all the goods and all they asked was to be given a room that was at least 2.5 x 2.5 metres with a black out blind fitted.

“They provided everything from the shelving unit to a sofa bed, the chair, soft furnishings, rubber plants, mood lighting and a lava lamps and a Bluetooth stereo system with a cordless headset. 

The relaxing space is now in place.

“The feedback from the staff has been excellent and they are very happy with it.

“People are now able to use the room, particularly on their lunch break or on the night shift, to just relax in a quiet and calm environment or even have a short sleep or a proper rest during their break if they want to. 

“It just allows the staff to recharge their batteries. You’ve got to look after your staff.” 

He continued: “I came into this post in custody in February last year and was told that there were lots of issues including low morale and high sickness levels. 

“Now we’re almost at zero sickness levels and this well being will also help staff with the work life balance.   

“Dundee custody staff also cover the front public counter and their jobs are particularly busy during the day shift, Monday to Friday. 

“Now when they get their breaks they can use a room where it’s in peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of phones, computers and people at the front desk. 

“The job that police officers and police staff do, particularly in the custody area means can get burnt out if they are not looked after.

“It was thanks to the input from Police Care UK with the federation that I found out we could do this. 

“It’s great to share the awareness that there are charities out there that can help police officers and support staff. 

“Putting the room together has taken me maybe a total of three or four hours while going through the application process, which wasn’t an onerous task. 

“I believe we’re the first custody area in Scotland to get a wellbeing room which is great news.”