Probe reveals dozens of cops ‘too unfit’ to police as Cambridgeshire revealed as one of UK’s fattest forces
Blobby bobbies in Cambridgeshire could face the boot after a probe revealed they can’t even pass the basic fitness test ‐ even though the Government made it easier.
Pen pushing and panda cars have been blamed for the decline in Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s fitness.
It comes after a Freedom of Information request revealed 39 officers in the region failed the new‐look exam.
And the force is one of the fattest in the country, according to figures, with around one in 25 officers literally not fit enough to police, more than double some other forces.
This is despite boasts from police top brass about how easy the test now is.
The exam involves a ‘bleep test’ where officers walk and slowly jog for less than four minutes in 15 metre bursts, along with light weight lifting.
To pass the basic test officers have to reach level 5:4 ‐ which is approximately three and a half minutes ‐ although there are higher standards for specialist coppers.
“If a normal person failed the test it would be embarrassing, never mind a policeman ‐ that’s a joke,” said a police source, who took and passed the exam themselves.
“When you think how much time police spend behind a desk or inside a car, it’s little surprise they are so unfit.
“But how are officers expected to catch a mugger if they can’t even run?”
Police.uk, the official Government police site, say the test is designed to simulate day‐to‐day police activities such as foot chases and apprehending suspects.
The official site also boasts that the new test is “considerably easier than it once was” and “most people with a basic level of fitness should be ale to pass it with very little training.”
John Ponter is a former high‐ranking Yorkshire police officer, who worked on several major cases during his career such as the Hillsborough disaster and several murders.
“Policeman used to walk the beat which would keep them naturally fit,” he said.
“But then panda cars were introduced and officers started doing more paperwork and overall there’s probably been a major decline in fitness throughout the force.
“Police fitness needs to be monitored, it is a physical job and they need to be fit to do that physical job.”
The new tests were implemented in recent years, making it a legal requirement that all of the force’s 1,378 officers to take it.
Yet around a quarter of those staff still haven’t taken it, according to figures obtained through the Freedom of Information act.
They also show that an inspector failed the test, along with 16 constables.
The inspector and four constables have since passed, although 12 constables still haven’t conquered it.
Officers have three attempts at passing the test. If they fail it a third time then the force can open up disciplinary actions.
This could include suspension or the sack.
The test came to prominence after super‐sized sergeant Andy Sharp made headlines after he was snapped on duty.
Colleagues defended the rotund officer ‐ with some saying the portly PC wasn’t even the fattest on the force.
Yet despite calls to keep more of an eye of officer’s waistlines, several forces ‐ including the City of London and Northamptonshire Police ‐ are yet to implement testing.
Some forces, including Bedfordshire Police, refused to disclose results.