Overweight cops not up to the job with almost 1,500 failing fitness test
| Sep 21st 2014 | 2 min read
Almost 1,500 officers failed their standard fitness test last year, raising serious questions over their ability to chase and catch criminals
The long arm of the law is increasingly attached to bodies which are not up to the job, reveals the Sunday People.
This newspaper has found almost 1,500 officers failed their standard fitness test last year, raising serious questions over their ability to chase and catch criminals.
Our survey of 30 forces in England and Wales under Freedom of Information laws revealed 1,492 failures.
But many forces only gave figures for the past year.
Some supplied details of testing going back up to five years and if all had done so, it is likely that the picture would be even bleaker.
There are plans to discipline any cops who fail annual tests three times – with pay cuts threatened.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor noted last May that some officers were unable to meet basic physical requirements.
He said all officers should pass an annual "bleep" test – a 15-metre shuttle run completed in increasingly faster times – and reach level 5.4.
Even this level ranks at the bottom of the scale compared to other forces.
A Royal Marine must reach level 13, with 9.2 the minimum for police in Scotland.
Mr Winsor also recommended harder tests from 2018.
The highest number of failures came in the Metropolitan Police, where 159 were below the mark.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Officers who fail the test are offered a one-to-one session with a Met personal training instructor and receive lifestyle advice and a personal training plan.”
Met publication Up To The Job advises officers to prepare for tests by going for a “hard run” for 20 to 30 minutes, three days a week.
The Met has previously issued stations with cookbooks to encourage tubby PCs to shun fry-ups.
A Cambridgeshire Constabulary meeting discussed plans for eight per cent pay cuts for those who fail and a stint on restricted duties.
A study published by the National College of Policing found the average pass mark for police fitness tests in the UK was 97.1%.
Men had a pass rate of 98.3% but women were behind on 90.4%.
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