Blobby Bobbies: Hundreds of police officers failed fitness checks last year

An investigation found at least 852 cops in England and Wales flunked last year’s annual fitness test.

That is despite being allowed a generous three minutes and 40 seconds to run 525 metres. Specialist roles such as dog handlers and firearms officers required a higher level of fitness.

Worst failure rate was in Durham Constabulary, where 14% of those tested could not keep pace.

And the real figure will soar as only 27 out of 43 forces responded to our Freedom of Information request.

David Spencer, research director at the Centre for Crime Prevention, said: “It is deeply concerning. Fitness should be a pre-requisite.

“The public will be concerned about how effectively police are able to discharge their duties if so many are unfit.

“These figures appear endemic of a worrying shift where more officers are sat in front of a computer, policing comments on Twitter than are found on the beat keeping our communities safe.

It is high time this trend was reversed.” Officers had to complete the bleep test – running 15-metre shuttles at a progressively faster speed.

Top speed is 6.46mph – equivalent to a mile in nine minutes and 17 seconds.

Gary Ridley, Assistant Chief Officer at Durham Constabulary, said: “We take fitness seriously. All our trainers have qualifications which enable them to offer advice and support regarding nutrition, physical training and the anatomy.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for fitness, Deputy Chief Constable Jo Shiner, said: “The overwhelming majority tested were fit and met the standard required of them to protect the public.”

Sixty percent of those who failed were female officers. Nine inspectors couldn’t run fast enough.

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