The impact of trauma-awareness session on police officers' trauma-informed attitudes in Scotland

Zara Brodie, Karri Gillespie-Smith, Karen Goodall, Kirsty Deacon, Kimberly Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Following reports that up to 80% of calls received by police in
Scotland concern vulnerability issues, adoption of trauma informed
policing has taken priority. This is the first evaluation of
the impact of a brief trauma-awareness training session on police
officers’ trauma-informed attitudes. Participants from two Scottish
police divisions – one who had been exposed to trauma awareness
training (n = 62) and one who had not (n = 91) –
completed self-report questionnaires on their trauma-informed
attitudes. Officers displayed more positive trauma-informed
attitudes towards victims/witnesses than suspects/perpetrators (p
< .001). Female officers (p = .002), those with longer service (p
= .018) and marginally those who were older (p = .048)
demonstrated more trauma-informed attitudes; officer rank was
unrelated. Female officers who received the training had
significantly higher trauma-informed attitudes towards both
groups than male officers who received the training (p < .001),
and higher trauma-informed attitudes towards suspects/
perpetrators than both male and female officers who had not –
though marginal (p = .048). Findings indicate that the Resilience
trauma-awareness has limited potential to influence trauma informed
attitudes, which appear to be more dependent upon
officer age, gender and experience. However, female officers may
be more susceptible to awareness training than male officers. To
meaningfully increase trauma-informed attitudes, a more
intensive tool-based training programme may be required.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2023


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