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Scots cops rejected almost 200 recruits last year as they weren’t fit enough

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POLICE Scotland has rejected almost 200 potential recruits in the last year because they were not fit enough.

Figures released by the force show nearly 15 per cent of all people who applied to join failed initial fitness tests.

15% of would-be cops failed their fitness test in the past yearCredit: PA: Press Association

Between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, 196 applicants to Police Scotland regular constabulary failed to meet the standard of fitness required.

Just 56 applicants were rejected the previous year because they fell short of the national standard.

There are no mandatory fitness tests on serving police officers in Scotland, unlike England, where they became compulsory in September 2014.

Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said the figures were a symptom of Scotland’s obesity problem.

He said: “With some two-thirds of the country overweight it should come as little surprise that would-be policemen fail their fitness test.

“The lack of meaningful obesity policies in Scotland since 1992 have led to this predicament.

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“But prepare for worse to come if COVID lockdown measures persist. In the two years of the pandemic in England child obesity rates have risen by 4 per cent. If Holyrood fails urgently to tackle the problem, a further rise is inevitable.”

The figures, released under freedom of information legislation, show that 1,237 applicants passed the fitness test in the last year.



The force’s fitness test usually involves a ‘bleep test’ shuttle run, where applicants are against the clock.

Applicants are asked to repeatedly run between two markers placed 15 metres apart, and the goal is to reach each marker at the sound of the beep.

The running test is usually held in an indoor gym hall but applicants had to complete a timed mile-and-a-half run outdoors last year.

As well as physical tests, Police Scotland candidates have to meet language, numbers and information handling standards in an education test, pass an interview, go through a vetting process and pass a criminal record check.

‘HIGH DEGREE’ OF FITNESS

Candidates must also pass medical, financial status and business interest checks, be tested for substance misuse, come through the two-year probationary period, and pass the final fitness assessment.

Superintendent Simon Wright, Head of Recruitment, said: “Police officers require to have a high degree of personal fitness and my advice to any candidates is to spend time preparing and developing their personal fitness in advance of attending at our fitness assessment.”

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