Blobby bobbies - Probe reveals dozens of cops ‘too unfit’ to police public

Blobby bobbies in Hertfordshire could face the boot after a probe revealed they can’t even pass the basic fitness test - even though the Government made it easier.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 18th November 2015, 12:40 pm
Police officers failed fitness tests
Police officers failed fitness tests

Pen pushing and panda cars have been blamed for the decline in Hertfordshire Constabulary’s fitness.

It comes after a Freedom of Information request revealed 28 officers in one region failed the new-look exam - including a chief inspector.

Just under two per cent of all the force’s 1,9000 officers literally aren’t fit enough to police - even though police boast about how easy it is.

The test involves a ‘bleep test’ where officers walk and slowly jog for less than four minutes in 15 metre bursts, along with light weight lifting.

“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 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?”

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., 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 able 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 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 investigation revealed that several high-ranking Hertfordshire officers failed the test, including six sergeants, one inspector and one chief inspector.

It was implemented in September 2013, yet despite being a legal requirement around one in five Hertfordshire officers still haven’t sat it.

Only 1,645 officers have took the test, according to figures obtained through the Freedom of Information act.

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.

To date, 27 officers failed the test once. Another unspecified officer has failed it twice.

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.

Hertfordshire Constabulary say that some of those who failed the test could have gone on to since pass.

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