Feb 17 2013
The Daily Mail
While I haven’t any real sympathy for the Police, this concerns me because once again it is about lowering wages, more than anything else. Certainly the article is very misleading. The Mail kicks off by saying that three quarters of the Met are overweight. While I don’t doubt that for a moment, it is hardly a problem since most people are overweight to some extent.. In other words there is fat and then there is fat.
The figure of 5,300 however represents the total number of overweight Police officers in England and Wales. That equates to less than 4 % of officers in total. Moreover, since three quarters of the Met represents a figure of 24,000 Police Officers you kinda get the feeling that the Daily Mail is talking its usual Bollocks.
If I was a policeman, I would be more concerned with my pay packet than my weight… Just saying.
5,300 police aren’t fit enough to walk the beat: Probe reveals appalling condition of officers… and now they face stringent new tests and a pay cut if they fail
- More than 5,300 officers on restricted backroom duties
- Report finds three-quarters of London officers overweight or obese
- 500 specialist officers failed fitness tests
PUBLISHED: 22:10, 16 February 2013 | UPDATED: 22:10, 16 February 2013
Police officers are to be forced to take new fitness tests – and will have their pay slashed if they fail.
Ministers are also planning to cut the wages of officers who take desk jobs because they claim their health is too poor for frontline duties.
The move comes as The Mail on Sunday reveals the scale of the ‘sicknote culture’ in the police.
Our investigation shows that more than 5,300 officers in England and Wales have been placed on restricted backroom duties – usually on full pay – because they are deemed to be incapable of normal operational roles because of conditions such as ‘malaise’ or ‘fatigue’.
But even though an official report found that three-quarters of London officers were overweight or obese, any crackdown on fitness is likely to lead to a fresh showdown between the Government and police.
Ministers are already at loggerheads with officers over pay and conditions, and the ‘plebgate’ row between Cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell and Downing Street police.
However, the reforms, spearheaded by Police Minister Damian Green, aim to tackle fears that the public are being endangered by a ‘fat blue line’ too unfit to chase crooks.
The Mail on Sunday investigation found that in one force alone, a startling 500 specialist officers working in roles such as firearms and dog handling failed a fitness test.
The shake-up has been inspired by Chief Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor’s report into pay and conditions in the police.
He recommended that the current fitness test, taken only by specialist officers, should be made more stringent. In place of the current ‘shuttle run’ in which officers sprint back and forth between lines 15 metres apart, Mr Green is likely to introduce an ‘assault course’ with crawling, jumping, balancing on a beam, climbing over a wall and dragging a weight. Anyone who fails the test three times will face ‘unsatisfactory performance’ procedures, which could lead to a pay cut.
Mr Green is also determined to reduce the number of officers given back-office jobs after suffering injury or ill-health. Police placed on these duties for more than a year face losing eight per cent of their salary – and after two years could be forced to take ill-health retirement.
Last night, Mr Green said the fitness tests would be introduced soon.
And the Association of Chief Police Officers confirmed: ‘Compulsory annual fitness testing for all officers has been agreed and a working group is planning its implementation. Proposals on restricted duties are still under discussion.’
This newspaper asked all 39 English police forces to detail how many officers had been placed on restricted duties and why. The results revealed stark variations: while a shocking eight per cent of police on Merseyside and in Hertfordshire are on restricted duties, in Humberside the figure is just one per cent.
- Jam doughnuts: Hundreds of motorists bring traffic chaos to M8 as they queue for opening of new Krispy Kreme
- Brewer launches investigation into claims pub continued to sell burgers which could contain horse meat after they were taken off the menu
- Top officer is held over ‘unpaid tip to reporter’ as Elveden inquiry expands
Out of the 21 forces that responded, 2,373 officers were on restricted duties, just over four per cent. Among all 134,101 officers in England and Wales, this would equate to more than 5,300 on such duties. All but a handful are on full pay. The 350 on Merseyside doing back-room work include a chief superintendent, a superintendent and two chief inspectors.
A spokesman said: ‘These procedures allow officers to return to work in a meaningful role.’ In Thames Valley, the 137 police on restricted duties – three per cent of the force – include six with ‘malaise or fatigue’ and 85 with ‘musculo-skeletal’ problems.
According to our figures, 508 out of the 10,156 specialist Metropolitan Police officers who took a fitness test in the past two years failed. A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said that was just five per cent and added: ‘The individual is immediately taken off operational duties and given an action plan to increase their fitness.’
In Merseyside, 91 officers out of 2,685 failed the fitness tests. The highest fail rate was in Kent, with 6.5 per cent.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2279801/5-300-police-arent-fit-walk-beat-MoS-probe-reveals-appalling-condition-officers–face-stringent-new-tests-pay-cut-fail.html#ixzz2L9TPtRhz
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook