The number of days police officers take off sick varies massively across the
country, with officers in Humberside taking just 8.6 days off a year, compared
with 16.1 in South Wales, according to government figures.
The total number of days lost to sick leave in the police force in 2000-2001
was approximately 1.5 million, with the average number of days lost per officer
reported at 12.2.
This compared to the 2001 average in the public sector of 10.2 days, and 7.2
days in the private sector.
In 55 per cent of all cases, musculoskeletal illnesses were the most
commonly cited reason for ill-health retirement. Ill-health retirements varied
from 3.3 per 1,000 to 22.9, it added.
The figures, published in October, came as the Government unveiled its first
ever occupational health blueprint to support police officers injured in the
line of duty.
Home Office minister John Denham said the Government would spend £5m a year
over the next three years developing a national OH strategy for the police
service, including £50,000 for each force to kick-start the process.