March 8 2014 Latest news:
Friday, February 14, 2014
New figures have revealed 7% of police officers in the Suffolk Constabulary have failed a mandatory fitness test.
Figures released under Freedom of Information show that Suffolk Constabulary has the highest proportion of officers who failed the fitness test, which was made compulsory last September, out of all 27 forces who provided data. The national proportion is 2.7%.
No punitive measures will be placed on officers who fail the test this time around, however from September this year those who fail three times will face disciplinary action.
A total of 829 police officers in Suffolk took the test, of whom 58 failed, including 36 women.
Suffolk police said that, unlike other forces, they followed national guidelines for new recruits and transferees where the participant must first do a warm up to level 3 of the bleep test before the full test begins.
The bleep test involves 20 metre shuttle runs within a limited time, as the levels progress the amount of time gets smaller.
Deputy Chief Constable Paul Marshall said: “Whilst mandatory fitness tests were introduced nationally in September 2013 they have been in place in Suffolk for six years. As such we have been proficient in carrying out tests, with these figures representing 90% of our operational officers – a larger percentage than many other forces.
“Therefore, while there is clearly room for improvement, we still have 93% of our officers who have passed.”
“We pride ourselves in having professional and dedicated officers who are able to offer the residents of Suffolk the best possible service and this includes everyone having a sufficient and relevant level of job related fitness.
“We rigorously follow the national guidelines in relation to the completion of fitness tests and all of our officers are aware of what is required of them. If anyone is to fail the test then words of advice are given around improving their levels of fitness and programs can be offered to support this process.”