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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Cumbria Constabulary still missing targets on sickness levels

Cumbria's police force continues to miss its targets on sickness.

Police photo

A new report reveals the average percentage of available hours lost to illness among officers stood at 4.2 per cent over the first three months of the year – above the threshold the constabulary aims for of 3.5 per cent.

It has gone up from a 3.9 per cent total at the end of the previous quarter but is down on just over 5 per cent registered at the same point last year.

The report, to a top-level committee of senior crimefighting figures due to meet tomorrow states: “Performance has still improved over the 12 month period.”

Among civilian staff at the force, the rate is revealed to be lower, at 3.8 per cent.

This is down on the previous quarter, when it was 3.9 per cent, but still misses the same target given to officers.

Major causes of absence across both officers and staff include breathing conditions, “muscular-skeletal” problems and psychological disorders such as stress.

The report adds: “Short and medium-term absence remains at a very low level for both police staff and police officers.

“Long-term absence continues to generate the majority of the statistics but there is a steady turnover of personnel in this category, with most people returning to duty.”

Existing ways of working have been reviewed, the report adds, and new systems have been put in place to allow “a more robust approach to attendance management”.

Attendance figures are also subject to scrutiny and discussion at meetings held every few months involving all senior managers.

The report is up for discussion at a meeting of the executive board of Cumbria’s crime commissioner, Richard Rhodes, at the force police headquarters near Penrith.

NGriffiths@cngroup.co.uk

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