South Yorkshire Police under 'significant pressure' due to staff sickness amid Omicron wave

Some staff members are being asked to work additional hours

South Yorkshire Police is facing "significant pressures", with 8% of staff currently off work sick.

Chief Constable Lauren Poultney told police and crime commissioner's public accountability board meeting on Monday, January 10 that 270 members of staff across the force have had a positive PCR test, and 184 are awaiting a PCR after a positive LFT test.

CC Poultney added that this has caused "significant pressures in key teams", following outbreaks in the control room and in one of the force's firearms support groups. 

She said: "Fortunately, none of these have impacted on our ability to carry out business as usual and all resilience cans have been put into place.

"We are asking staff at times to work additional hours we're keeping people on or bringing them in early to help cover for some of the abstractions."

It comes as a 'major incident' has been declared in Doncaster after Covid rates reached their highest level in the town since the start of the pandemic.

There were 2,403.6 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days up to January 9, and cases in the over-60s have increased ten-fold in the past three weeks.

Health and care services in the town say there is 'real pressure', with staff absences of up to 50%.

Credit: PA

Other hospitals across South Yorkshire are also experiencing "very high staff absence levels" as a result of Covid, with operating theatres closing and staff being asked to consider relinquishing annual leave.

At Rotherham Hospital, 559 staff are currently off sick, 310 of which have Covid or are isolating.

Ben Anderson, Rotherham's director of public health says he expects the case rate to continue to rise for the next seven to 10 days, before they peak.