Stressed police officers are calling in sick twice as much as five years ago.

Stressed police officers are calling in sick twice as much as five years ago.

Stressed police officers are calling in sick twice as much as five years ago.

First published in News

STRESSED police officers are calling in sick twice as much as five years ago.

Essex Police already had one of the highest sickness rates and the numbers are still rising with officers currently taking on average 12.4 sick days a year, according to the latest figures.

More than a quarter of the officers are taking time off because they are stressed, anxious or depressed (Sad).

In 2009/10 there were 27,654 sick days taken by the 3,600 officers. The amount taken off because of Sad was 5,132 days.

In 2013/14 there were 41,251 sick days taken by the 3,300 officers. The amount taken of because of Sad was 11,238 days.

Mark Smith, chairman of the Essex Police Federation, said: "It is a huge problem and will get worse.

“There are things the force can’t control, like pay freezes pensions and changes.

“And then there are things they can.

“Rest days and annual leave is being cancelled.

“They keep taking it away which does not help.”

He said the murder investigations in Colchester meant longer shifts and no leave which officers accepted in the circumstances.

But cancelling leave to clear backlogs due to a lack of staff are not acceptable and cause more problems in the long term, according to Mr Smith.

Nick Alston, police and crime commissioner for Essex, said: “The impact of reported anxiety, depression and stress is clear in the figures.

“This figure is worryingly high.

“Clearly the root causes of this increase must be properly understood and managed.”

He claimed major changes to the structure of the force following Government cuts have not helped and major incidents such as the murders in Colchester placed “significant strain” on the force and officers.

He added: “Over the past few years cost cutting measures went too far in the areas of occupational health and access to physiotherapy services.

“I know the Chief Constable and his senior team are working to increase the support available to injured officers.”

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: "The figures show the number of days taken off by officers due to stress related illnesses has risen.

"This is a worry and I’m working with my senior management team and HR department to ensure that everyone who works for Essex Police is being fully supported.

"By its nature policing is a stressful job.

"That’s why it is important that all officers and police staff who work for Essex Police are given the welfare support they need.”

Several measures have been brought in to try and reduce the rates, which are more than double the average for employees.

These include:

  • More resources to manage absences locally
  • Health promotion initiatives and increased funding for physiotherapy and occupational health
  • Make use of officers in some capacity who cannot return to full duty
  • A new performance improvement unit to tackle problem officers who may be taking sickies or under performing
  • Managers to address reasons for absence earlier and provide more support and make more contact
  • Development plans for the frequent absentees
  • A new head of health services to reduce absence days lost to sickness.

 

The average number of sick days taken by employees in England has fallen below six a year.

Essex police officers - 12.4 days

Essex PCSOs - 16.8 days

NHS staff - 9.5 days

UK average worker - 6 days

UK average employer - 4.4 days

Comments (11)

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10:38am Mon 18 Aug 14

totallyfootball says...

Stress from what, you never see them? bunch of limp wristed losers, anyone with stress issues should never join the police force, no wonder there is so much crime they are all signed off?
Stress from what, you never see them? bunch of limp wristed losers, anyone with stress issues should never join the police force, no wonder there is so much crime they are all signed off? totallyfootball
  • Score: 21

10:49am Mon 18 Aug 14

Jack222 says...

Too many pointless targets gets to us all. AS well, like teachers, there is no down time when on duty...
Too many pointless targets gets to us all. AS well, like teachers, there is no down time when on duty... Jack222
  • Score: -17

11:42am Mon 18 Aug 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

It's par for the course! Most public sector workers ensure they get what they call their "annual sick pay entitlement". Take a look at sickness for most low paid or zero hours contract workers and you'll see come hell or high water they will make it into work. Why, because they don't know what sick pay is!
It's par for the course! Most public sector workers ensure they get what they call their "annual sick pay entitlement". Take a look at sickness for most low paid or zero hours contract workers and you'll see come hell or high water they will make it into work. Why, because they don't know what sick pay is! Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 16

1:52pm Mon 18 Aug 14

nick2480 says...

What do they do to get stressed? They dont solve crime just pick and choose the easy options.
What do they do to get stressed? They dont solve crime just pick and choose the easy options. nick2480
  • Score: 17

1:59pm Mon 18 Aug 14

seikothrill says...

A neighbour of mine is a prime example. He works for The Met but has time off sick due to health issues associated with weight. He is approx 5ft 8in and 18 stone. Why is he paid sick leave when a diet and /or exercise is all he needs. He agrees regarding diet etc but laughs as he is happy claiming full pay without the need to work.

He also claims a back problem which prevents him working but funny how he just laid his own patio, built a shed and fitted his own kitchen with same bad back that stop's him working
A neighbour of mine is a prime example. He works for The Met but has time off sick due to health issues associated with weight. He is approx 5ft 8in and 18 stone. Why is he paid sick leave when a diet and /or exercise is all he needs. He agrees regarding diet etc but laughs as he is happy claiming full pay without the need to work. He also claims a back problem which prevents him working but funny how he just laid his own patio, built a shed and fitted his own kitchen with same bad back that stop's him working seikothrill
  • Score: 25

2:08pm Mon 18 Aug 14

totallyfootball says...

seikothrill wrote:
A neighbour of mine is a prime example. He works for The Met but has time off sick due to health issues associated with weight. He is approx 5ft 8in and 18 stone. Why is he paid sick leave when a diet and /or exercise is all he needs. He agrees regarding diet etc but laughs as he is happy claiming full pay without the need to work.

He also claims a back problem which prevents him working but funny how he just laid his own patio, built a shed and fitted his own kitchen with same bad back that stop's him working
Exactly, why work if you don't have to?
[quote][p][bold]seikothrill[/bold] wrote: A neighbour of mine is a prime example. He works for The Met but has time off sick due to health issues associated with weight. He is approx 5ft 8in and 18 stone. Why is he paid sick leave when a diet and /or exercise is all he needs. He agrees regarding diet etc but laughs as he is happy claiming full pay without the need to work. He also claims a back problem which prevents him working but funny how he just laid his own patio, built a shed and fitted his own kitchen with same bad back that stop's him working[/p][/quote]Exactly, why work if you don't have to? totallyfootball
  • Score: 16

3:46pm Mon 18 Aug 14

wormshero says...

Ah, the comments on the Gazette are as crazy as usual, no change here. Do you really think forcing stressed officers out on the beat is a good idea? I guess there's never been any accidents caused by police offices being stressed historically?

seikothrill, your example of one person is hardly representative of the police force.

I imagine having to deal with a large number of serious crimes as well as a lot of lesser ones while budgets get continually crushed and they're expected to do more for the same pay AND putting up with the public constantly moaning about their apparent lack of work IS pretty stressful, to be honest.
Ah, the comments on the Gazette are as crazy as usual, no change here. Do you really think forcing stressed officers out on the beat is a good idea? I guess there's never been any accidents caused by police offices being stressed historically? seikothrill, your example of one person is hardly representative of the police force. I imagine having to deal with a large number of serious crimes as well as a lot of lesser ones while budgets get continually crushed and they're expected to do more for the same pay AND putting up with the public constantly moaning about their apparent lack of work IS pretty stressful, to be honest. wormshero
  • Score: -27

4:10pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Hatpeg says...

Anyone who deals with the general public will get stressed these days.
The standard of respect, personal responsibility and honesty from citizens is at an all time low.
Police numbers are cut, the population increases, and the orgainised crime gangs coming in from abroad cause havoc.

I can see while the bobby on the frontline is stressed.
Anyone who deals with the general public will get stressed these days. The standard of respect, personal responsibility and honesty from citizens is at an all time low. Police numbers are cut, the population increases, and the orgainised crime gangs coming in from abroad cause havoc. I can see while the bobby on the frontline is stressed. Hatpeg
  • Score: -24

4:25pm Mon 18 Aug 14

nick2480 says...

Perhaps they need to drive less and walk more, I cannot remember the last time I saw an officer walking around.

A few years ago a friend of mine who works in Colchester went to the gym in our local station. He was happy to be able to run 1.5km in 9 mins!
Perhaps they need to drive less and walk more, I cannot remember the last time I saw an officer walking around. A few years ago a friend of mine who works in Colchester went to the gym in our local station. He was happy to be able to run 1.5km in 9 mins! nick2480
  • Score: 16

5:05pm Mon 18 Aug 14

totallyfootball says...

wormshero wrote:
Ah, the comments on the Gazette are as crazy as usual, no change here. Do you really think forcing stressed officers out on the beat is a good idea? I guess there's never been any accidents caused by police offices being stressed historically?

seikothrill, your example of one person is hardly representative of the police force.

I imagine having to deal with a large number of serious crimes as well as a lot of lesser ones while budgets get continually crushed and they're expected to do more for the same pay AND putting up with the public constantly moaning about their apparent lack of work IS pretty stressful, to be honest.
If you can't stand the heat and all that, the man in the street would have no job if he had unlimited days off and why no get rid of the weak and reinstate all those laid off due to the cuts? If you take out all those with stress and those to fat to function and are given desk jobs where are exactly the force of today?
[quote][p][bold]wormshero[/bold] wrote: Ah, the comments on the Gazette are as crazy as usual, no change here. Do you really think forcing stressed officers out on the beat is a good idea? I guess there's never been any accidents caused by police offices being stressed historically? seikothrill, your example of one person is hardly representative of the police force. I imagine having to deal with a large number of serious crimes as well as a lot of lesser ones while budgets get continually crushed and they're expected to do more for the same pay AND putting up with the public constantly moaning about their apparent lack of work IS pretty stressful, to be honest.[/p][/quote]If you can't stand the heat and all that, the man in the street would have no job if he had unlimited days off and why no get rid of the weak and reinstate all those laid off due to the cuts? If you take out all those with stress and those to fat to function and are given desk jobs where are exactly the force of today? totallyfootball
  • Score: 19

10:55pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Boris says...

seikothrill wrote:
A neighbour of mine is a prime example. He works for The Met but has time off sick due to health issues associated with weight. He is approx 5ft 8in and 18 stone. Why is he paid sick leave when a diet and /or exercise is all he needs. He agrees regarding diet etc but laughs as he is happy claiming full pay without the need to work.

He also claims a back problem which prevents him working but funny how he just laid his own patio, built a shed and fitted his own kitchen with same bad back that stop's him working
Have you reported him to the Met? If not, why not? You can't expect bosses in London to monitor what he does in Colchester.
If the reason you haven't reported him is because he is a friend of yours, please don't moan about him on here. If he is on the fiddle, it is your duty to report him.
[quote][p][bold]seikothrill[/bold] wrote: A neighbour of mine is a prime example. He works for The Met but has time off sick due to health issues associated with weight. He is approx 5ft 8in and 18 stone. Why is he paid sick leave when a diet and /or exercise is all he needs. He agrees regarding diet etc but laughs as he is happy claiming full pay without the need to work. He also claims a back problem which prevents him working but funny how he just laid his own patio, built a shed and fitted his own kitchen with same bad back that stop's him working[/p][/quote]Have you reported him to the Met? If not, why not? You can't expect bosses in London to monitor what he does in Colchester. If the reason you haven't reported him is because he is a friend of yours, please don't moan about him on here. If he is on the fiddle, it is your duty to report him. Boris
  • Score: -24

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