Warwickshire’s unfit police officers could face the sack after it was revealed that some are too unfit to pass a basic force fitness test.
Pen pushing and panda cars were blamed for the decline in fitness after a Freedom of Information request revealed 17 of the force’s officers failed to meet minimum standards.
Police fitness needs to be monitored, it is a physical job and they need to be fit to do that physical jobJohn Ponter
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, officers have to reach level 5:4 - which takes approximately three and a half minutes - but here are higher standards for special units.
Police.uk, the official Government police site, says the test is designed to simulate everyday police activities such as foot chases.
The official site also described the test as “considerably easier than it once was” and that “most people with a basic level of fitness should pass with very little training.”
John Ponter, a former high-ranking officer with Yorkshire Police said: “Policeman used to walk the beat which would keep them naturally fit.
“But then panda cars were introduced and officers started doing more paperwork and overall there’s probably been a major decline in fitness.
“Police fitness needs to be monitored, it is a physical job and they need to be fit to do that physical job.”
Despite the test being mandatory now, just over half of the force’s 850 officers have taken part. Of those, around one in 29 of them failed.
A total of 15 of the officers who failed are constables, with 10 working on patrol.
Officers have three attempts after which they can be open to disciplinary action.