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Fitness tests put North Yorkshire Police officers on the run
ALL operational police officers in North Yorkshire are now taking an annual physical fitness test.
The Government-imposed regime is what instructors say should be the minimum standard for a serving police officer.
Officers have to reach level 5.4 of the “beep test” by completing a series of 15-metre shuttle runs at an ever increasing speed. If they succeed, they will have been able to run about 525 metres in three minutes 30 seconds.
Those who fail the test three times in a row will face performance standards procedures, which could result in dismissal, demotion, being recommended for retirement or transfer to a different job.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “All operationally deployable police officers from the Chief Constable down will be required to pass the test.”
However, the Police Federation which represents rank and file officers, said the testing was “an additional financial and bureaucratic burden on the police”.
Mike Stubbs, deputy secretary of the North Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “There have been fitness tests in place for roles such firearms and public order officers for many years. However, facilities such as gym equipment have been removed from police stations, force occupational health provision has been subject to a series of reductions over several years and we are now faced with the prospect of officers having to work until they are 60 years old.
“Police officers are regularly injured in the course of their duties, shift working is widely acknowledged as a cause of health problems and, just like the rest of society, some police officers will develop medical conditions. Fitness testing is not a panacea which will alleviate any of these issues.
“With continuing cuts to police budgets, we are unlikely to see an improvement in the resources the force can devote to the wellbeing of police officers. Without such measures, fitness testing will simply impose an additional financial and bureaucratic burden on the police with little or no improvement in the level of service to the public.”
Every officer who attended the first test in Poppleton on Thursday, including Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, passed the test.
Specialist police such as firearms, public order officers and police dog handlers will face a tougher standard on the beep test.
Officers who have suffered ill health are exempt and those on restricted or recuperative duties will have their test postponed, a spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said.
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