PSNI officer's stress resulted in 24,360 days off duty

Stress-related absences in the PSNI accounted for 24,360 days of missed duty last year
Andrew Madden

PSNI officer's absences due to stress accounted for more than 24,000 days out of work last year.

Earlier this week, The Irish News revealed that 433 rank and file officers had taken a leave of absence last year due to increasing stress issues.

Upon a request for a further breakdown of the figures, the PSNI disclosed that these absences made up a total of 24,360 days of missed duty in 2016.

That amounts to an average of 56 days per officer, or more than eleven weeks work.

Over the last five years, 1,867 officers have had to take time off due to stress, resulting in a total of 106,870 days off duty.

There are currently around 6,800 police officers serving in the north.

During this time, both the length of time spent on sick leave for stress and the number of officer taking time off due to the problem have jumped by nearly 38 per cent.

In August, the chairman of the Police Federation, Mark Lindsay, warned of a looming crisis due to budgetary constraints causing staff shortages, which in turn is affecting officers on the streets.

"We have officers who are run ragged, plugging holes in the service, and it can't go on indefinitely," he said.

"Morale is at rock bottom, stress levels are through the roof and dissatisfaction levels are high."

Last year, The Police Federation also set up a £1 million fund to help those affected by psychological illness.

The fund is designed to support officers who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other conditions.

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