Overweight police officers who do not want to take the force’s new fitness test will be offered an alternative which involves walking on a treadmill for just nine minutes.
Officers will be allowed to opt out of the bleep test – timed sprints between fixed points – and sign up for the Chester Treadmill Walking Test, which requires candidates to walk at no more than 3.9mph on a gradually increasing gradient.
Mandatory fitness tests for PCs in England and Wales begin next month amid concern that many are not fast enough to catch criminals.
A year ago, The Mail on Sunday revealed testing had been quietly watered down for fear of legal action and compensation claims.
Now it has discovered that several forces have lobbied for staff to be spared the bleep test, which proved too demanding for hundreds of officers in pre-launch trials.
Professor Kevin Sykes, who devised the test at the University of Chester, said: ‘Some force medics have phoned me to say they feel sending bobbies who they may not have seen for some time to perform a shuttle run which goes faster and faster might cause problems.’
He said the treadmill option would offer an alternative – but last night it was criticised as yet another move to make the testing regime easier. Former soldier Mo Ahmed, founder of the Army Boot Camp Fitness company, said: ‘This shows that the priority is just to get them through the test.’
The introduction of the walking test is revealed in a briefing paper from the College of Policing, the body set up by the Government to raise policing standards.
Read the full story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2732947/Can-t-pass-police-fitness-test-Go-nine-minute-walk-treadmill-instead-overweight-officers-told.html