Stress keeps more than 1,000 police officers a day off work


Enough officers to run a small police force were off work sick each day last year because of stress, according to government figures.

On a typical day, an average of 1,086 officers, the size of the forces in Wiltshire or Warwickshire, were were absent with stress-related illness, out of a total 160,000 officers.

About 250,000 days were lost across the UK police forces in 2004-05 due to stress, costing between £20m and £60m a year, the figures stated.

Chief constables are planning a national meeting to discuss ways to tackle the problem and cut costs from their stretched budgets, according to The Times.


Officers took an average of two days a year off because of stress, but one psychologist said that the real figure was likely to be higher because illnesses could also be linked to stress.

The forces worst affected were Leicestershire, Northern Ireland, North Yorkshire, Dorset and Greater Manchester.

The Home Office said that police sickness absence had fallen from 12.2 days lost per officer in 2000-01 to 8.5 days in 2004-05.

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