Police sickness up 46% in two years

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Ken McIntosh

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Ken McIntosh

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

MORE THAN 14,400 sick days were taken by North Yorkshire Police officers in 2012/13, new figures have shown.

Most of the sick days taken by police officers in that time were due to anxiety, depression and stress, according to the statistics, released under the Freedom Of Information Act.

Officers spent 14,469 days absent from duty due to sickness, up from 14,027 the previous year and 9,941 in 2010/11 - a rise of 46 per cent in two years.

Police staff and PCSOs reported sick 8,611 days in 2012/13, down from 9,529 in 2011/12 and 9,970 in 2009/10.

Mark Botham, chairman of the North Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “We work with our members and the force to try and support officers. As the disturbing figures show, policing remains a difficult and often dangerous occupation.

“Police numbers have reduced in North Yorkshire from 1,656 in 2006/7 to around 1,400 in 2013/14. We will continue to work to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our members remains a priority for the force and for the Police and Crime Commissioner.”

Ken McIntosh, North Yorkshire’s Temporary Assistant Chief Constable, said staff adhered to policies that included guidance on stress.

He said: “Work is ongoing on a Wellbeing Agenda, which incorporates a Stress Management Programme as one of the key initiatives. This aims to ensure the existing Stress Management Procedure and guidance for staff and managers are promoted as well as incorporating the steps and good practices within the training for our managers.

“By its very nature, policing can be a stressful occupation. It can also be a very fulfilling one.”
The most recent figures showed 174 days were taken by officers suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, 453 from stress, and 2,402 suffering from ‘Other Stress’, while 386 took days off through anxiety  and 905 were absent due to depression.

Figures from Humberside Police showed that in the 12 months to last August , police officers and PCSOs took 14,969 days sick, with 3,223.5 days lost to mental health related issues by police officers, and 11,745.5 days lost through other health issues.

In West Yorkshire, 5,536 days were lost to sickness in 2012/13, compared to 5,040 in 2011/12, and in South Yorkshire, 4,181 days were lost in 2013 to a combination of anxiety, stress and depression.

Comments (13)

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8:18am Wed 12 Mar 14

chelk says...

If they are not up to the job they should resign or be sacked, it would also help if they were not given full pay for so long when sick it encourages people to stay off longer than is required I think they get six months on full pay then half pay for the next six months.
If they are not up to the job they should resign or be sacked, it would also help if they were not given full pay for so long when sick it encourages people to stay off longer than is required I think they get six months on full pay then half pay for the next six months. chelk
  • Score: -56

8:43am Wed 12 Mar 14

Dick Turpin says...

Have a look at the sickness pattern when childten are on school holidays. Child care issues?
Have a look at the sickness pattern when childten are on school holidays. Child care issues? Dick Turpin
  • Score: -41

8:53am Wed 12 Mar 14

Garrowby Turnoff says...

Can professional thieves claim sick benefit when they're a bit off colour and can't face house breaking?
Can professional thieves claim sick benefit when they're a bit off colour and can't face house breaking? Garrowby Turnoff
  • Score: -27

9:40am Wed 12 Mar 14

X5019c says...

Perhaps if ATOS want out of the contract to assess disability claimants eligibility for benefit they could put their skills to good use in assessing police sickness claims.
Perhaps if ATOS want out of the contract to assess disability claimants eligibility for benefit they could put their skills to good use in assessing police sickness claims. X5019c
  • Score: 20

9:41am Wed 12 Mar 14

the original Homer says...

North Yorkshire has about 1400 Police Officers and they took over 14000 days off sick in one year? That's an average of 10 days each, or 2 full weeks.

It's not just mental issues (stress/anxiety/depr
ession) either. They only add up to about 4000 in total, so deducting all those from the 14000 still leaves about 7 days per officer for other sickness.

The total number of days sick going up (or down) is not really a meaningful number. What we should be looking at is the number of days per person, and how that compares with other professions.

Maybe there needs to be an allowance made for injuries rather than sickness, as I'd be quite willing to accept the job puts them more at risk than many. However, on the numbers given, it does look like they take an abnormally high number of days off for colds/flu, tummy bugs etc.

I used to work for a company with about the same number of employees, and annual sick averaged less than 2 days per employee consistently year after year.

I don't know how typical that is, or even where to go to find numbers for other organisations. Maybe the press could obtain some figures so we could see the Police sickness in context ?
North Yorkshire has about 1400 Police Officers and they took over 14000 days off sick in one year? That's an average of 10 days each, or 2 full weeks. It's not just mental issues (stress/anxiety/depr ession) either. They only add up to about 4000 in total, so deducting all those from the 14000 still leaves about 7 days per officer for other sickness. The total number of days sick going up (or down) is not really a meaningful number. What we should be looking at is the number of days per person, and how that compares with other professions. Maybe there needs to be an allowance made for injuries rather than sickness, as I'd be quite willing to accept the job puts them more at risk than many. However, on the numbers given, it does look like they take an abnormally high number of days off for colds/flu, tummy bugs etc. I used to work for a company with about the same number of employees, and annual sick averaged less than 2 days per employee consistently year after year. I don't know how typical that is, or even where to go to find numbers for other organisations. Maybe the press could obtain some figures so we could see the Police sickness in context ? the original Homer
  • Score: 24

10:43am Wed 12 Mar 14

BL2 says...

chelk wrote:
If they are not up to the job they should resign or be sacked, it would also help if they were not given full pay for so long when sick it encourages people to stay off longer than is required I think they get six months on full pay then half pay for the next six months.
What a pathetic comment! If you had suffered from any mental illness you would not make such statements!
[quote][p][bold]chelk[/bold] wrote: If they are not up to the job they should resign or be sacked, it would also help if they were not given full pay for so long when sick it encourages people to stay off longer than is required I think they get six months on full pay then half pay for the next six months.[/p][/quote]What a pathetic comment! If you had suffered from any mental illness you would not make such statements! BL2
  • Score: 11

12:05pm Wed 12 Mar 14

TheTruthHurts says...

BL2 wrote:
chelk wrote:
If they are not up to the job they should resign or be sacked, it would also help if they were not given full pay for so long when sick it encourages people to stay off longer than is required I think they get six months on full pay then half pay for the next six months.
What a pathetic comment! If you had suffered from any mental illness you would not make such statements!
If I had suffered from any mental illness i wouldnt make a very good police officer either
[quote][p][bold]BL2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chelk[/bold] wrote: If they are not up to the job they should resign or be sacked, it would also help if they were not given full pay for so long when sick it encourages people to stay off longer than is required I think they get six months on full pay then half pay for the next six months.[/p][/quote]What a pathetic comment! If you had suffered from any mental illness you would not make such statements![/p][/quote]If I had suffered from any mental illness i wouldnt make a very good police officer either TheTruthHurts
  • Score: 4

12:49pm Wed 12 Mar 14

YorkPatrol says...

BL2 wrote:
chelk wrote: If they are not up to the job they should resign or be sacked, it would also help if they were not given full pay for so long when sick it encourages people to stay off longer than is required I think they get six months on full pay then half pay for the next six months.
What a pathetic comment! If you had suffered from any mental illness you would not make such statements!
They are'nt mental, they are just taking the mick...... typical public sector
[quote][p][bold]BL2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chelk[/bold] wrote: If they are not up to the job they should resign or be sacked, it would also help if they were not given full pay for so long when sick it encourages people to stay off longer than is required I think they get six months on full pay then half pay for the next six months.[/p][/quote]What a pathetic comment! If you had suffered from any mental illness you would not make such statements![/p][/quote]They are'nt mental, they are just taking the mick...... typical public sector YorkPatrol
  • Score: -3

4:51pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Daisy75 says...

I love the line from Mark Botham about the stressful and dangerous nature of the job- this may be true but fails to explain why N yorks police has 3.5 times the amount of sickness leave of West and South Yorks police who will be in more dangerous and stressful jobs. It smacks of a culture where recurrent sickness absence is expected and tolerated, like those old jobs where people used to get allocated a days sick leave a month whether needed or not! It goes along with a force with its own convalescent home for police staff and an overly powerful union in disguise, the Police Federation.

I am someone with a disability who works, and accept that one can't eliminate sick leave, and largely am angered by the current Govt approach to those with long term health problems as they fail to take into account the problems faced by people like me, but even I'm disgusted by this.
I love the line from Mark Botham about the stressful and dangerous nature of the job- this may be true but fails to explain why N yorks police has 3.5 times the amount of sickness leave of West and South Yorks police who will be in more dangerous and stressful jobs. It smacks of a culture where recurrent sickness absence is expected and tolerated, like those old jobs where people used to get allocated a days sick leave a month whether needed or not! It goes along with a force with its own convalescent home for police staff and an overly powerful union in disguise, the Police Federation. I am someone with a disability who works, and accept that one can't eliminate sick leave, and largely am angered by the current Govt approach to those with long term health problems as they fail to take into account the problems faced by people like me, but even I'm disgusted by this. Daisy75
  • Score: -1

5:19pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Diogenes2 says...

North Yorkshire Police officers who feign stress etc. must be made to prove their mental state.
I wonder how many of those police officers would pass any mental test!
North Yorkshire Police officers who feign stress etc. must be made to prove their mental state. I wonder how many of those police officers would pass any mental test! Diogenes2
  • Score: -2

5:57pm Wed 12 Mar 14

The Junkyard Angel says...

I knew a copper who was known for taking sickness leave. He was paid off at 50 and re employed by another force doing the same job ! Go figure , eh!!
I knew a copper who was known for taking sickness leave. He was paid off at 50 and re employed by another force doing the same job ! Go figure , eh!! The Junkyard Angel
  • Score: 2

8:27pm Wed 12 Mar 14

wimtroch says...

Indeed, typical public sector 'workers' (I use the term lightly): Paid by the taxpayer, corrupt (as recent history shows); they should all come and work in the private sector: underpaid, underrated, over-stressed and no 'have we hurt your feelings, pet?' attitude.
Indeed, typical public sector 'workers' (I use the term lightly): Paid by the taxpayer, corrupt (as recent history shows); they should all come and work in the private sector: underpaid, underrated, over-stressed and no 'have we hurt your feelings, pet?' attitude. wimtroch
  • Score: -2

7:16am Thu 13 Mar 14

oldgoat says...

wimtroch wrote:
Indeed, typical public sector 'workers' (I use the term lightly): Paid by the taxpayer, corrupt (as recent history shows); they should all come and work in the private sector: underpaid, underrated, over-stressed and no 'have we hurt your feelings, pet?' attitude.
Don't suppose you've ever worked in the Public sector? Strange thing is, I've worked in both Public and Private, and have to admit they're pretty much the same. You get good and bad in both.
[quote][p][bold]wimtroch[/bold] wrote: Indeed, typical public sector 'workers' (I use the term lightly): Paid by the taxpayer, corrupt (as recent history shows); they should all come and work in the private sector: underpaid, underrated, over-stressed and no 'have we hurt your feelings, pet?' attitude.[/p][/quote]Don't suppose you've ever worked in the Public sector? Strange thing is, I've worked in both Public and Private, and have to admit they're pretty much the same. You get good and bad in both. oldgoat
  • Score: 5

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