Fat and unfit bobbies at risk of losing jobs

Bernard Hogan-Howe
Bernard Hogan-Howe

Fat and unfit police officers have been warned to improve their physical condition or risk losing their jobs.

The warning came from Britain’s most senior officer, Sheffield-born Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner spoke out after describing the standard of an annual fitness test that officers must complete as ‘too low’.

Officers are assessed with a 15-metre shuttle run ‘bleep’ test, which became compulsory from September.

Sir Bernard said he had passed his assessment ‘very well with no preparation’.

He added: “It’s taken too long to get the annual test, but it will start to have an increasing impact. For me, the standard is too low - I think it should be higher. It’s relatively easy to pass.”

Those who fail will be given time to lose weight and get fitter, he said.

“If they don’t, then we haven’t got a job for them. I think you’ve got a duty to your colleagues,” Sir Bernard added.

“If they shout for help, they want fit people to come. They don’t want somebody waddling down the road who’s never going to arrive, and when they get there they’re out of breath.”

Figures published weeks before the tests became mandatory last year showed that hundreds of officers across the country have failed.

Sir Bernard rose through the ranks in South Yorkshire and Merseyside before landing the job at The Met in 2011.

He admitted he misses the hands-on side of being an officer.

He said: “I joined as a policeman, I didn’t intend to be commissioner. It’s not exciting to chair meetings. There are some exciting outcomes...but it’s never quite as joyful as finding somebody who has raped or done a burglary.”