Northern Ireland news

PSNI issues 2,000 officers with pairs of trousers with waists of 40 inches or more

PSNI recruits are required to pass a 'physical competence assessment' but the fitness of serving officers is not routinely tested
Staff Reporter

ALMOST 2,000 pairs of trousers with waist sizes of 40 inches or more were issued to PSNI officers over the past five years.

The figure equates to more than one pair of outsized trousers being handed out to police every day.

A total of 1,836 trousers worn by male officers had waist sizes of 100 centimetres or more, which the NHS characterises as increasing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer in men.

Maternity trousers are not included in the statistics, nor are `made-to-measure' uniforms.

A PSNI spokesman told the Londonderry Sentinel: "1,836 does not necessarily relate to the number of officers as officers are usually issued with four pairs of trousers.

"It may also include replacement trousers for those trousers which have been damaged in the course of policing duties.

"This figure does not include made-to-measure trousers as PSNI are not in a position to identify from our records the reason(s) why the standard size product wasn't available."

The PSNI requires applicants to pass a Physical Competence Assessment (PCA) before they can enter the training college.

However, the fitness of serving officers is not routinely tested, with only members of specialist units being monitored.

The Recruitment PCA (2015/2016) states that the physical operational requirements of a police officer include activities such as running, crawling, climbing, balancing, lifting, carrying, dragging and weaving.

The assessment for recruits includes an obstacle course and strength and resistance tests.

Concern expressed about the low success rate for female applicants led to a commitment last year to allow a retest for those who fail.

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