Thirteen Hampshire police officers fail fitness test

Police officers have to take regular fitness tests
Police officers have to take regular fitness tests
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THIRTEEN Hampshire police officers have failed their annual fitness test, according to latest figures.

A Freedom of Information request by The News revealed officers serving in Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Waterlooville and Hayling Island didn’t pass the yearly fitness check between 2012 and 2014.

Of these, 12 have since passed according to Hampshire Constabulary.

It hasn’t been revealed what happened to the one officer who failed.

The annual fitness test was brought in two years ago after a study carried out by the government suggested 
three-quarters of officers in some areas of the UK were overweight.

John Apter, chairman of the Hampshire Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said illness and injury must be taken into consideration.

He added: ‘As this is new legislation there is obviously going to be a readjustment period as police officers aren’t robots.

‘Hampshire Constabulary must now give more opportunity for police officers to maintain a level of fitness. If they fail the test, they could lose their jobs.

‘The Police Federation has requested to bring gyms back into police stations and it has been agreed that funding will be given for equipment.

‘A good police officer doesn’t have to be an athlete to be a good detective or interviewer. I have no reports that suggest crimes have not been dealt with due to poor fitness.’

In August, the College of Policing published figures suggesting that Hampshire is one of the fittest forces in the UK, receiving an overall pass rate of 99.4 per cent.

Out of the 801 who took the test, 796 passed. For the Sussex force 74 officers took the test and 72 passed.

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock said: ‘I am pleasantly surprised that so few police officers have failed.

‘Out of the hundreds of police officers across the areas stated, these figures represent an average of one per cent of the force so I welcome this.’

According to Police Magazine, the fitness test for participants requires them to run back and forth over 15 metres ranging in speeds of up to five miles per hour in three minutes.

If an officer is not able to pass the fitness test at the first attempt, officers should be provided with support and allowed at least two retakes.

If the officer is still unable to pass, the College of Policing advises forces to use the unsatisfactory performance procedures as set out in the Police (Performance) Regulations 2012. This could see them potentially lose their jobs.