Police officers among the most unfit in country

Police in Lancashire are among the country's least fit
Police in Lancashire are among the country's least fit
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Lancashire’s police officers are among the most unfit in the country, according to official figures.

Twenty-two out of 344 serving officers who took a special test failed to reach the required standard, with 6.4 per cent failing overall, latest results from the College of Policing reveal.

However, the force’s training chief has defended the results and says fitness levels among officers are high.

Just two in every 100 police officers across 32 forces nationwide failed the test.

Lancashire Constabulary came second from bottom in the results table, behind North Yorkshire, where 16.2 per cent of officers failed.

The new tests become compulsory at the beginning of next month, after recommendations made by Chief Inspector of Constabulary Tom Winsor.

Officers failing the test are allowed two retakes.

If they do not pass a note of ‘unsatisfactory performance’ is placed on their file.

Lancashire Police’s head of training Victor Robinson said: “The reported figures only cover the period at the start of the year when we had just started fitness testing all officers.

“The current figures show a failure rate of one per cent, one of the best in the country.

“Effectively it would appear we got off to a shaky start but the test results now seem to have settled down.

“I am confident that the fitness levels for Lancashire officers are high and that the vast majority will pass the fitness test.”

The endurance test involves a series of shuttle runs between two lines 50ft (15m) apart at a steadily increasing pace controlled by means of a speaker emitting ‘bleep’ signals in decreasing time periods.

Officers will be expected to pass the bleep test on an annual basis.

Rose Bartlett, recruitment standards policy manager at the College of Policing, which has released fitness test guidance for forces, said: “The results show that the vast majority of officers tested are fit. The new guidance issued to forces has been designed to provide supportive measures to help officers to pass and the College has now commissioned research in order to understand why women and older officers have a lower pass rate.