South Yorkshire police pass fitness tests

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Nearly all serving South Yorkshire police officers who have taken new annual fitness tests have passed.

The force has achieved a 97.7 per cent pass rate, with 801 of the 820 officers who have been tested passing.

Compulsory testing, to ensure that officers are fit for their roles, was introduced last year.

Of the 574 male officers who underwent the tests, five failed.

Some 246 women officers were tested, and 14 did not pass.

Personal safety training sergeant Gary Bramhall said: “Until September, no sanctions will apply to any officers who fail, or to those who are unable to take the test because of medical reasons.

“From September this year, if an officer cannot pass the job-related fitness test, they will agree upon a development plan and arrange to retake the test no later than six weeks from the unsuccessful attempt. If unsuccessful, the candidate can repeat this process twice more.

“If the candidate remains unsuccessful, they will be placed on the unsatisfactory performance procedure. This includes two stages in which there will be further opportunities to retake the test. If the candidate remains unsuccessful, their circumstances will be examined by a case conference.”

But Neil Bowles, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, questioned the need for the tests to be carried out yearly.

“It is vitally important that officers are fit for their roles, and a pass rate of 97.7 per cent is an excellent starting point,” he said.

“But I do question the expense of having these tests on an annual basis, considering the pass rate, though.

“We also wish to monitor nationally those officers that do not pass, to ensure this is not a discriminatory test in any manner.

“We also wish to ensure the appropriate support mechanisms from the employer are in place to ensure those that fail can pass the test in an appropriate timescale.”