Norfolk police officers fare better in fitness testing than those in Suffolk

Picture: ARCHANT

Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2011

The counties' football teams may have ended the East Anglian derby on equal terms, but new figures have revealed that Norfolk police officers have a slight edge on their Suffolk counterparts when it comes to fitness testing.

A Freedom of Information request found that out of the 1,448 officers in Norfolk who took the compulsory fitness test in 2016 only six (0.5pc) of them failed.

This compares to 968 officers taking the same test in Suffolk, where 15 (1.5pc) failed to make the mark.

The fitness test, which was made compulsory in 2014, requires officers to run between two set points 15 metres apart, arriving at each end line, in time with a series of audio bleeps. At the end of each level, the time intervals between bleeps decreases, which requires running speed to be increased.

It is commonly known as the bleep test and officers have to reach a set level depending on their role in the force.

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If an officer fails at the first attempt, it is advised that at least two retakes are permitted before extra action is taken.

But the figures reveal that in both counties officers fared better in the test last year. In Norfolk, 1.2pc of officers failed in 2015 compared to 0.5pc in 2016. In Suffolk the failure rate was 1.8pc in 2015 and 1.5pc in 2016.

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Police candidates are required to pass the test as part of their application and have to pass five further tests during their two-year probation period. All other officers have to pass the test before their annual personal training refresher.

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