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Royal visit to New Scotland Yard

News   •   Apr 04, 2018 15:41 BST

[The Commissioner and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester]

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester has visited New Scotland Yard to learn more about the impact upon, and support provided, to officers and staff who were involved with the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower last summer.

The fire in June 2017 saw 71 people lose their lives and untold distress to those bereaved, the survivors and the local community. The Met recognises the huge impact that night had upon those who called Grenfell Tower home and everyone in the local community, as detectives continue to work on one of the most complex investigations of recent times.

The Commissioner, Cressida Dick, warmly greeted Her Royal Highness on Wednesday, 4 April, before introducing her to a group of Met police officers and police staff. They included some of the first responders to the tower, call handlers, victim identification officers, family liaison officers for the bereaved families, occupational therapists and a Met cadet.

They spoke with The Duchess to explain their roles and the lasting emotional impact of dealing with such a tragedy, as well as describing the support offered by the Met and answering her thoughtful questions.

The Met has a duty of care to all its employees and takes this very seriously. Policing is challenging and during the course of their work, officers and staff can be exposed to activities that affect their wellbeing.

The Met provides comprehensive care suited to the individual’s needs. Officers or staff, who require assistance, whether physical, emotional or psychological, are supported through a number of interventions provided by the Met’s occupational health service, risk management team and pastoral support. These services include psychological support services delivered by specialist clinical staff, as it is understood the effects on mental health following exposure to a traumatic event can rarely be predicted and should never be underestimated.

The Commissioner said: “We were very grateful to have Her Royal Highness pay a visit to our officers and staff to discuss how they dealt with the tragic events of that night while also taking time to understand the effects upon them.

"Our thoughts of course remain with the bereaved families and all those affected in the local community by the fire; we must never underestimate the horror of that night, the losses and injuries suffered and its long lasting impact on so many people.

"I am immensely proud of the hard work and professionalism of my officers and staff in incredibly difficult situations such as Grenfell Tower. They continue to work with determination and compassion for those directly affected, and their welfare will always be of the utmost importance to me and I know they appreciate the support and kind words from The Duchess today.”