Budget cuts are hurting mental health of police officers, chief constable warns

Sgt Ali Livingstone (pictured) was forced to quit after suffering from the cumulative effect of 'being exposed to trauma all day, every day'

Sgt Ali Livingstone (pictured) was forced to quit after suffering from the cumulative effect of 'being exposed to trauma all day, every day'

Sgt Ali Livingstone (pictured) was forced to quit after suffering from the cumulative effect of ‘being exposed to trauma all day, every day’

Budget cuts are hurting the mental health of police officers, a chief constable has warned, as the PC with the country’s top arrest record has quit after suffering with PTSD.

Sgt Ali Livingstone was forced to quit after suffering from the cumulative effect of ‘being exposed to trauma all day, every day.’ 

The 36-year-old – who is now writing a book about his experiences – was nicknamed Robocop by his Suffolk police colleagues for his prolific arrest record that stood at 524 in 2009.

Sgt Livingstone, who joined the force at 18, has suffered broken fingers and feet and numerous punches in the line of duty.

And he received an award from the Royal Humane Society after holding on to a suicidal man who was hanging over the edge of a nine-storey car park.

But he suffered a mental breakdown last year, followed by PTSD, and also has depression.

He said: ‘I went from being the UK’s top arresting officer to being so troubled by what I’d seen and done in the line of duty that I’ve had to walk away from the very job that defined me.’

Suffolk's police deputy Rachel Kearton praised Livingstone for speaking out and said financial pressure and budget cuts were negatively impacting upon officers (stock image)

Suffolk's police deputy Rachel Kearton praised Livingstone for speaking out and said financial pressure and budget cuts were negatively impacting upon officers (stock image)

Suffolk’s police deputy Rachel Kearton praised Livingstone for speaking out and said financial pressure and budget cuts were negatively impacting upon officers (stock image)

Suffolk’s police deputy Rachel Kearton praised Livingstone for speaking out and said financial pressure and budget cuts were negatively impacting upon officers.

She told The Guardian: ‘Once upon a time when there had been a crisis I would be able to give [officers] some respite by taking them away from the frontline. 

‘That is no longer an option because of the increased demand that we are dealing with and the stretch on the resources.’

And added that cuts to services meant officers were ‘picking up a number of issues from other agencies that we didn’t have to deal with before.’

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