Sickness absence among police officers has been reduced, according to
figures in this year’s Inspector of Constabulary report.
The annual report reveals that since 1997/98, the number of working days
lost to sickness per police officer has fallen by about a day nationally.
This equates to a reduction of 128,860 days in total – the equivalent of
more than 560 extra officers being in work.
Among the forces most successful at reducing sickness absence, Merseyside
had seen its rate of 18.6 days per officer reduce to 11.3, a decrease of more
than seven days on average, said the report.
Other successful forces included the Metropolitan Police, down 3.5 days;
Humberside down 3.6 days; and Durham and Hertfordshire, both down by 2.9 days.
But forces in Essex and North Wales have seen an increase of 3.6 and 3 days
per officer, respectively.
A review of sickness management is being undertaken in Essex.
A total of 23 forces have lowered their levels of sickness absence among
civilian staff, with Merseyside, again, one of the best performers, with a
decrease of 7.5 days per civilian over the past two years.
Hertfordshire, Greater Manchester, Cambridgeshire and Humberside have all
shown "sizeable" improvements, according to the report.
But Bedfordshire police force has seen a steady increase over the past two
years with an extra six days absence per civilian on average in 1998/99
compared to 1996/97.