LEPH Link was first trialled by West Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Police in December 2020 and launched in June 2021. Devon and Cornwall Police subsequently recognised the potential benefits of LEPH Link to provide officers with a reliable source of real-time information about available services and to deploy best practice interventions at scale across the workforce. They are currently conducting a pilot Plymouth and aiming for a force-wide roll-out in 2023.
LEPH Link came about as a result of a project, funded by the HEE School of Public Health, Yorkshire and the Humber, to progress recommendations from the ‘Public Health Approaches to Policing’ report by public health specialty registrar, Helen Christmas and Superintendent Justin Srivastava, Lancashire Constabulary. This report is supported by the National Police Chief’s Council and the College of Policing.
A team at The University of Leeds (School of Medicine), led by Professor Laura Stroud, were commissioned by the Head of School for Public Health for Yorkshire and Humber to develop a Public Health tool to support frontline police officers, which resulted in an app collating reference materials on public health approaches.
It was decided that LEPH Link could be based on an adapted existing public health tool MECC (Making Every Contact Count) Link, used by health and social care professionals to support people they meet to make small changes to improve their health and wellbeing.
About the App
The key feature of LEPH Link is that it provides signposting information for police officers to recommend national and local support services, on a range of key public health topics, to the people they come into contact with.
As a progressive web app, it is also fully accessible to both the public and partners, and is designed to encourage people to improve their health and wellbeing. It can be accessed both on- and offline, on mobile phones and tablets. It is straightforward to access and use.
It adopts an Ask, Assist and Act brief intervention model, which is underpinned by behavioural science, to improve engagement.
LEPH Link covers public health topics and lists services that specifically support police officers in their frontline work. App content is currently kept up-to-date by a dedicated project manager.
Existing MECC Link topics were adapted for LEPH Link, to make them more relevant to the issues police officers were likely to encounter. The app also includes information about force protocols or procedures to consider in relation to specific topics. Topics specific to LEPH Link include substance misuse, migrant health, modern slavery, sex work and child sexual exploitation. More topics are being developed and added.
Devon and Cornwall Police are conducting an internal evaluation of the LEPH Link implementation. The evaluation report will be available in February 2023.
How to access
The app can be accessed here, downloaded and added to your homescreen for easy access.
For more information on the Devon and Cornwall LEPH Link trial please contact Project Manager Heather Coombe on LEPHlink@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk.
If you are interested in launching LEPH Link in your own force area, please contact Chris Sharp, Workforce Development Manager (Yorkshire and Humber) OHID email@example.com.
Case study by Isabella Anderson, 2022.