90 days from today is Mon, 21 December 2020
16 May 2018
New statistics have shown that West Midlands Police officers were owed a staggering 23,071 rest days in September last year.
Only two forces owed their officers more time - Thames Valley (26,873) and the Met (184,000).
The information has emerged after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from the Press Association which paints a worrying picture of a national police service facing some serious resourcing issues.
West Midlands Police Federation acting chair John Williams says the situation locally shows exactly the sort of strain that is being put on members.
“Government cuts and budget restrictions have been biting hard and these figures are clear evidence of the pressure that West Midlands Police are under,” says John.
“With the lowest numbers of police officers on the streets in a generation, it is no surprise that rest days are having to be cancelled to keep up with the demands on the Force.
“That puts extra pressure on chief officers to deal with these issues and also on our members who are the ones finding it harder and harder to effectively police the communities they serve.”
Figures show there were almost 250,000 rest days owed to 70,000 police officers in England and Wales on 17 September last year when the figures were collated and gave a snapshot of the extent of the problem.
The chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), Calum Macleod, has reacted to the figures by saying that national policing is ‘in crisis’.
“We do not have the resources at the moment to meet the demands of the public - whether that be in an event, a terrorist incident, or whether that be from a police officer’s perspective of actually achieving their rest days,” Calum explains.
“If rest days are being banked, it’s a dangerous situation for the public, it’s a dangerous situation for policing and it needs to be addressed.
“The Government needs to take this situation seriously because it’s quite clear the model is not working. They need to listen quickly because if they don’t, we are on the brink of disaster.”