Police officers fail to pass fitness test


Official figures show that officers at Northamptonshire Police are the second worst in the country when it comes to passing fitness tests.

The figures come from the College of Policing and are the results of thousands of fitness tests carried out by 32 police forces, mostly between March and May this year.

The results show that 75 out of 82 officers from Northamptonshire Police passed the test, a pass rate of 91.5 per cent.

However, this was the second lowest result with many larger forces such as West Yorkshire, Thames Valley and Devon and Cornwall scoring close to 100 per cent.

The national average was 97 per cent.

The statistics show that 21 out of 25 female officers and 54 out of 57 male officers in Northamptonshire passed the fitness test.

The test, which is due to become mandatory next month, is made of two elements, an endurance shuttle run, also known as the Bleep Test, which involves running back and forwards along a 15-metre track to a series of audible beeps which get progressively faster.

The guidance requires that officers, who undertake Personal Safety Training, should be able to achieve a level 5:4 on a 15 metre shuttle run.

The second exercise tests dynamic strength and involves performing five seated chest presses and five seated back pulls.

The standard is the same as that used when recruiting officers.

The fitness test is supposed to replicate situations officers will face during their work.

If an officer is not able to pass the fitness test at the first attempt, the college advises forces to help the officer and allow a series of at least two retakes.

If all appropriate support measures and alternatives have been offered and the officer is still unable to achieve the required standard, the college advises forces to use the unsatisfactory performance procedures.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police said: “These figures only represent a three-month period, in that sense they offer only a narrow snapshot.

“Over the longer term, we are running at a fail rate of below five per cent.

“The small number of our officers who do fail the fitness test are given an action plan which instructs them on how to improve their fitness, with advice on nutrition and how to take regular exercise.

“Our aim then is to re-assess those officers who have failed the test within 12 weeks.”