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Stress Related Sick Leave On Increase In Thames Valley Police Force, FoI request reveals

Thames Valley Police Force is in the top five constabularies for stress related absences in England and Wales, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Figures show that in 2013 there were 244 stress related absences in the Thames Valley force, compared to 189 in 2009.

Hardworking officers are telling me that they are dealing with a wide variety of issues and often PCSOs are now doing the work of officers," Victoria Groulef.

There were also 9,311 hours lost to sick leave compared to 7,975 in 2009. The total number of hours lost since 2010 is 34,500.

On Monday Labour’s Policing Minister, Jack Dromey, and Victoria Groulef will meet with residents in Reading to hear their views on the issue.

Victoria Groulef, Labour’s Reading West Parliamentary candidate, is concerned that police officers are overstretched and taking on more responsibilities.

Victoria said: “Hardworking officers are telling me that they are dealing with a wide variety of issues and often PCSOs are now doing the work of officers.

“We need to address this issue now, neighbourhood policing is essential for our security and wellbeing, if our officers are doing too much then there will be a serious impact.”

'Sickness has soared"

On a national level the police service has seen a staggering increase in the number of hours taken sick under this Government. With the thin blue line being stretched ever thinner the health of our hardworking neighbourhood police teams is being damaged, undermining effective community policing.

Jack Dromey said: “Theresa May makes the Police sick. Under her watch, hours lost to sickness have soared to a staggering 8 million. That's the equivalent of 4,190 Police Officers off the beat and confined to bed.

“Little wonder because the Home Secretary tops the European league, cutting more Police Officers than any other country in Europe. With 15,000 gone, 10,000 from the front line, many Police Officers are now paying the price with their health.

“In Thames Valley Police Service alone the amount of sick hours taken has grown to nearly 34,500 since 2010. Thames Valley is now in the top 5 constabularies for stress related absences in England and Wales. Theresa May’s disregard for the dedicated work our bobbies do in our neighbourhoods is placing them under undue pressure.”

ENDS

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