Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Police sick leave for stress falls by 25%

The number of police going off work with stress in the province has fallen by 25% in five years.

Last year 282 regular PSNI officers took sick leave with the illness, down from 377 in 2002 according to Northern Minister Paul Goggins.

The drop in full-time reservist stress-related absences was even more dramatic at 85% - just 22 compared to 156.

Nigel Dodds, who requested the figures in the Commons, said: "The number of officers on the beat is very much an issue that constantly arises. Members of the public want a decent, effective, high-visibility police force and sick leave rates affect that.

"I know the police have made efforts to try to address this problem and I welcome the drop in numbers. The figures no doubt reflect the fact that recent times have been more peaceful.

"However, we should not forget the dangers officers still face, particularly in light of the shootings of two officers by dissidents in recent weeks."

The figures also revealed 28 officers have been transferred to other agencies.

The PSNI has been dogged by high sickness rates since it was formed but insists it is on line to meet policing board targets.

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