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Former Police Officer shines spotlight on mental health after being diagnosed with work-related PTSD

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

by Benjamin Pearson

Bradford born; Benjamin Pearson always dreamed of joining the police to help others. He joined West Yorkshire Police, his local force in 2001 aged 25. He began his career out on patrol and as a tutor constable training new officers before joining the special operational and Roads Policing Unit. Pearson, a familiar face on Channel 5’s popular TV series Police Interceptors, dedicated 19 years to serving and protecting the public, his community, before he was forced to give it all up and retire in October 2020 due to ill health and work-related PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Now aged 44, Pearson still has that same dream of helping others, however this chapter involves Ben exchanging his baton for the mighty pen and taking up a new role out of the uniform that was his identity for almost two decades. Ben is now an author, motivational speaker and mental health advocate sharing his life and work experiences – the ups and downs of policing, living with PTSD, and coping with the stigma attached to mental illness. Pearson has been involved in dangerous pursuits, arrested murderers and rapists and high-profile burglars. He’s taken down some of the most violent offenders, bringing them to justice. Unbeknown to Ben, his greatest fight was yet to come. After dealing with a series of heinous, fatal collisions and losing his parents, Ben’s mind became his worst enemy. Handcuffed Emotions – ‘A Police Interceptor’s Drive into Darkness’ tells of his fight, not only for his family, his health, and his sanity, but against the system that failed him. The torment faced by Ben is told in his own voice, the events real, and the aftermath, life changing. His memories of the incidents leading to diagnosis are as vivid as they are mentally destructive. ‘Handcuffed Emotions’ cannot help but make the reader grieve at the lack of support offered to Ben. Former West Yorkshire Police Traffic Officer Ben Pearson Said: “I hope my story helps others to recognise what frontline emergency staff go through daily, I hope people can see the human behind the uniform. I also hope that by me sharing my experiences and stories that I will continue to help others because that’s the main reason I wanted to be a police officer in the first place.” During his career, Ben received 8 commendations for bravery and outstanding police work and 2 judges' commendations for high profile arrested and conviction of a murder. He was part of the police family and did a job like no other. As well as being a favourite face on Channel 5's Police Interceptors that was watched by 1.7 million viewers, he has also been in several episodes of ITV’s soap Emmerdale and the TV drama DCI Banks drawing on his special skills used in the police force. Ben lives with his loving partner Milly, a serving police officer, and two beautiful children aged 4 and 6. The book is dedicated to Ben’s family and friends who, despite missing out on important milestones and celebrations over the years due to his passion and commitment for the job, have always loved, supported and stood by him. His debut book, Handcuffed Emotions, is released digitally and in paperback via Amazon. Ben is keen for people to see past the uniform and see the person instead. He hopes his story helps others (policing and non-policing) to spot the signs, support the frontline staff, and seek help when it comes to mental health. 20% of the proceeds of the book will go to The Kaledidoscope Plus Group – a leading mental health and wellbeing charity. Ends

Image credit: James Warner

Book cover artwork: Jonathan Crabtree

Book available via: Amazon (paperback)

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