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Police Federation: Over-stretched members at “breaking point”

700 West Midlands officers were off work last year Credit: BPM

The Police Federation says over-stretched members are at “breaking point” after figures revealed 700 West Midlands officers were off work last year with stress, anxiety and depression.

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Officers off work between April 2016 and April 2017 with stress

Chairman of the West Midlands branch of the Federation, Tom Cuddeford, said losing 2,000 staff since 2010 amid multimillion-pound budget cuts had “taken its toll” on staff.

It’s clear that the demand and pressures on officers is far greater than it was in 2010 when we had nearly 2,000 more bobbies. The Police Federation was accused of scaremongering and crying wolf by the Prime Minister when she was Home Secretary in 2015.

We said then that the cuts she made would have consequences. I think we are now starting to see some of those warnings coming to fruition in terms of increases in certain types of crimes, the ongoing security threats around terrorism and the impact that extra workloads is having on officers’ health.

– West Midlands branch of the Federation, Tom Cuddeford
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Officers off work between April 2016 and April 2017 with anxiety

The Police Federation outlined details of its Protect the Protectors initiative at its national conference last month.

As well as tougher sentences for anyone who assaults an officer on duty the campaign called for better welfare support of federation members. The row over the impact of police cuts and pressures on over-stretched officers dominated the last week of the general election campaign following the London Bridge terror attacks which killed eight people.

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Officers off work between April 2016 and April 2017 with depression

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said his force was “buckling under the strain” of having to deal with the increased terror threat.