Hundreds of London's police officers fail compulsory fitness test

Figures showed that only two forces boasted a 100 per cent pass rate for all their officers

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of police officers in Britain’s capital have failed fitness tests as figures emerged that show only two forces in the United Kingdom boast 100 per cent pass rates.

At least 356 Metropolitan Police officers failed new compulsory fitness standards introduced last April that required officers to complete a ‘bleep test’ or timed shuttle run.

Only Humberside and Surrey police forces could claim a 100 per cent pass rate across all officers, figures released by the College of Police showed.

A total of 117 male officers, out of 9,377, failed the bleep test. Out of 2,998 female officers 239 were found to have inadequate fitness levels, according to figures obtained by the London Evening Standard.

Metropolitan Police Service Deputy Director of HR Clare Davies told The Independent in a statement: “Since the fitness test was introduced last year, 97 per cent of Metropolitan Police officers have passed which is in-line with the national average.

“Where officers fail the test they will be provided with development plans and the necessary support to help them meet the standard. In the unlikely event that this is not possible more formal steps may be initiated.”

Since September, officers have been required to undertake fitness examinations following recommendations that all officers should take a bleep test annually by the chief inspector of the constabulary Sir Tom Winsor.

Sir Winsor has also recommended that harder tests should be introduced from 2018.

Most officers only have to reach the basic fitness level, requiring them to complete a 15-metre shuttle run under faster and faster periods, gradually building up to level  5.4, or four times back and forth at level  5.

Failed participants are allowed two retakes before receiving an “unsatisfactory performance” against the officer.

Members of specialist units, such as the firearms, public order or armed response, must reach level 10.5 and perform a 20-second rope hang.