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Essex Police officers absent because of stress
The high-level of sick days taken by police officers in Essex is down to stress caused by funding cuts, it is claimed.
Responding to the head of the force in Essex, Stephen Cavanagh, who said too many officers are taking days off after drinking too much, Mark Smith, chairman of the Police Federation, said the problem is better explained by increased workloads.
“I don’t blame staff, they are stressed. They are suffering from burn out," he said.
“Short term sickness happens everywhere. It’s no different to anyone else’s workplace.
“Minimum staffing levels are set at a figure that is too high so officers aren’t getting the time off.”
Writing in Essex Fed magazine, Chief Constable Cavanagh vowed to cut the average number of annual sick days taken by each officer, which currently stands at 12.
Essex police is in the process of cutting budgets by £44million following a decrease in government funding.
This will include cutting almost 400 officers, 500 staff, 100 PCSOs, closing stations and front counters across the county.
Mr Smith also said procedures for managing absence are not being followed, which contributes to more sick leave.
“After seven days [of absence] they should have a visit by a supervisor, which is not happening,” he said.
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