South Yorkshire police officers most unfit in the country

Police fitness tests results have been released
Police fitness tests results have been released

South Yorkshire Police officers failed more fitness tests than any others in the country.

Results of the annual tests, released by the College of Policing, show that 95 per cent of officers passed.

A total of 1,902 officers from the force completed the tests, with 1,806 passing.

The pass rate for the men was 97 per cent and 89.4 per cent for the women in the force - with both figures the worst in the country.

South Yorkshire Police said the force was 'disappointed' with the results, but those who did fail passed when they were re-tested.

A force spokeswoman said: “Whilst we were disappointed with last year’s fitness test results, those who failed did pass on the second occasion.

"Since then we have made significant improvements and our pass rate is now 98.6% which is above the national average.”

Assistant Chief Constable Jo Shiner, the national lead officer for fitness testing, said: "These results show that 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."

The basic fitness test, which became compulsory in 2014, requires officers to run 525 metres in three minutes 40 seconds or less.

Those who fail are allowed at least two retakes, according to College of Policing guidance - and officers who fail repeatedly can face disciplinary action.

Specialist officers including those in firearms, diving, and air support teams have to undergo more rigorous training.

Neil Bowles, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, said South Yorkshire Police's 95 per cent success rate should be praised.

"I say well done to the vast majority of our members that have passed this test on an annual basis," he said.

" If there is such a high pass rate, is it worth the cost of implementing the tests?

"The data used in this press release by the College of Policing is so flawed you can drive not just a bus, but probably a supertanker through them with ease."In the notes to the figures it says 'the majority of these results are for the period September 2014 to August 2015 ' and 'results from forces unable to provide data for the entire period', so we are not comparing apples with pears.

"North Yorkshire appear to have tested all their officers at least twice during the year, whilst Cheshire and City of London have tested less than a tenth of their Officers.

"There has been no uniform method of reporting these results centrally. For instance if an officer does not take the test is that a failure? In our force it is, in others obviously not. If an officer subsequently passes the test, having failed once, is the failure recorded? The latest figures for the last 12 month period show South Yorkshire Police has an overall pass rate of 98.6 per cent using the same rules as previously.

"I personally think that all officers should maintain their fitness to perform their role, but these tests are a waste of money and are certainly not ‘job-related’."