Police fitness tests failed 1,863 times in 12 months

Police officers

More than 1,800 police fitness tests were failed by officers in England and Wales in the space of 12 months.

The test, which has to be taken by any officer who might be required to handcuff or restrain suspects, was taken 93,956 times from September 2014 to August 2015, with 1,863 failures.

The lowest pass rate was South Yorkshire Police - with 5% failing.

The College of Policing, which compiled the data, recommends officers are given the chance to retake the test twice.

It said it was unaware of anyone being sacked for failing the tests and individual forces could decide how to deal with officers who had failed.

Of all 43 territorial police forces in England and Wales the overall pass rate was 98%.

The City Of London Police had the highest pass mark, with all 120 tests taken by its officers proving to be successful.

South Wales police had a 99.6% pass rate, while Surrey and Dyfed-Powys both had 99.5% of successes.

'Specialised training'

All but two forces broke down the results by gender, with the figures showing a lower proportion of female officers than their male counterparts passed the tests.

Of the 23,154 times that a woman took the test, 22,095 - or 95.4% - were passes, while of the 67,376 times a male officer took part, 66,619 - or 98.9% - were passed.

Some 757 tests were failed by men, and 1,059 by women.

The fitness test, which became compulsory in 2014, has been designed to meet the same physical standard as those used when recruiting officers.

The annual test involves a 15-metre shuttle run and requires officers to run 525 metres in three minutes 40 seconds or less.

Each chief constable makes an operational decision on whether special constables take the test, with 41 out 43 forces currently requiring them to do so.

National lead for fitness testing, assistant chief constable Jo Shiner, said the results showed "the vast majority of officers tested were fit and meet the standard required of them to protect the public".

"We know from previous years that slightly fewer female officers are passing and the College of Policing guidance on fitness tests has been carefully designed to support officers who are in this position - including advice on positive action measures such as specialised training and mentoring programmes.

"The public want their officers to be fit and able to protect them in the face of danger and these results show they are able to do just that," she added.

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