Suffolk officers score the worst in fitness tests

Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk
Have your say

Police officers in Suffolk have performed the worst on national fitness tests due to become mandatory later this year.

A total of 807 officers in England and Wales failed the tests out of 29,285 who took them, according to interim results from 38 police forces given to the College of Policing.

The worst failure rate - seven per cent - was seen in Suffolk, with 60 officers failing out of a total of 863 who took part.

The tests, which will become mandatory in September, measure endurance and are based on scientific research to match the physical demands of officer safety training.

Both male and female officers’ scores were low in Suffolk compared to other forces, with 82.8 per cent of 227 woman and 96.7 per cent of 636 men passing the test.

The average pass rate nationally for male officers was 99 per cent, while for female officers it was 93 per cent.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said: “We have a dedicated and professional workforce who have helped us cut crime and anti-social behaviour across Suffolk, and we want them to have a sufficient and relevant fitness level for their role.

“Suffolk Constabulary has been implementing fitness testing for officers over the last six years, well in advance of the interim guidance issued by the College of Policing in September 2013.

“Our programme has therefore assessed the majority of all our officers and provides us with a comprehensive assessment of overall fitness levels.

“Our policy remains to support and monitor those that were not successful as we believe there is still some room for improvement. At the same time will continue to work with the College of Policing to ensure that the test is fit for policing.”

Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said it is ‘very important that we have a fit and active workforce’ and the interim results showed there was ‘considerable room for improvement’.

He has asked the chief constable to come up with a programme to address the issue of being the least fit force ‘ as a matter of urgency’ and has suggested implementing fitness tests above the required standard.