Area's bobbies among country's fittest

Most of the force's officers past the new compulsory fitness test
Most of the force's officers past the new compulsory fitness test

Humberside Police can claim to be among the fittest forces in Britain, a probe has revealed.

Just seven of the force’s officers have failed the new compulsory health MOT aimed at weaning out blobby bobbies.

In some regions that figure is as high as one in 25.

But a handful still can’t even pass the basic fitness test, with pen pushing and panda cars blamed for the decline in police fitness.

The test, which 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 high-ranking former 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 tests have become a legal requirement for forces across the country, after concerns about the expanding waistlines of Britain’s bobbies.

Humberside Police implemented the testing in 2014, in which five officers failed.

So far this year, just two have failed.

The force didn’t disclose how many of its 1,610 officers had actually took the test to date. In some regions up to half were still to sit it.

Of the seven who have flunked it, nobody has failed more than once.

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.