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Surge in police officers signed off with stress and anxiety

More than 10,000 took time off last year

The number of police officers being signed off sick with stress and anxiety has doubled in the past five years, figures show. 

One in 14 officers have had to take off time in the past year, a rise of 96% overall. 

There are around 144,000 officers in the UK and the Freedom of Information figures show 10,684 officers needed leave to recover from stress, depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

In March 2014, the same figure was just 5,460 officers.

The West Midlands had the highest number of officers off sick, with 1,251 – double the previous year.

This was followed by the Met Police with 783, and 597 in Manchester.

Richard Cooke, chairman of West Midlands Police Federation, old the Telegraph that officers are “broken and emotionally exhausted”.

“People have got far too heavy workloads, which contain a lot of risk, and that’s weighing very heavily on their minds,” he warned. “The problem is that the relentlessness of the demand, leaves absolutely no time because officers are going from one job to the next job, to the next, with no time to in between, to download, to discuss, to reflect.”

The Home Office said it has given £7.5m to the recently-launched National Police Wellbeing Service which will improve the support provided to police officers and staff.