Probe reveals dozens of West Yorkshire cops ‘too unfit’ to police public

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Blobby bobbies in West Yorkshire could face the boot after a probe revealed dozens can’t even pass a basic police fitness test.

Pen pushing and panda cars have been blamed for the decline in force fitness.

It comes after a Freedom of Information request revealed the number of officers literally deemed not fit enough to police the public has doubled.

This is despite the Government boasting the test is easier than ever, and should be passed by anybody who possess even a minimum level of fitness.

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 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 basic 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 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 new mandatory testing was implemented by the force for the first time in September 2013.

In the first year, 20 officers failed the test. Last year that figure ballooned to 40.

Up until July this year, 17 officers failed it.

Unlike other forces across the country, West Yorkshire Police refused to reveal the rank of the officers who failed.

It also didn’t reveal how many officers it employed and how many times each officer had failed.

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 even 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.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “West Yorkshire Police introduced the job related fitness test from September 2013, since then it became mandatory for all officers to complete the job related fitness test prior to officer safety training.

“Officers who do not reach the required standard still continue with officer safety training and are given support and guidance on how to improve their fitness in order to reach the required standard for their next official test which would be in 12 months’ time.”