Every year someone suggests it’s about time police undergo fitness tests.
It was always something of a surprise that throughout my 30-year career, the only fitness test I had occurred before I joined the job. I never had another.
Being on the Police Support Unit meant to you had to do a certain amount of running around with a riot shield, but it wasn’t a formal test. Although I played rugby through my career & kept a reasonable level of fitness, I was never fitter than when I was at training school. We used the gym most days & I stayed at weekends when most people went home. There wasn’t much else to do at the weekends other than sport.
Of course, in those days, there were no ‘human rights’, it was a disciplined service & if the drill sergeant told you to run the premister of the training school backwards whilst doing 20 pushups every 100 yards, you did it.
Nowadays, there is no discipline, and if you don’t want to reach a certain level on the bleep test during your riot training, well so what?
The Daily Fail are talking about a new annual fitness test being introduced as part of the review on pay and conditions. If it comes in it won’t be a year too soon but will probably be a couple of decades too late. The amount of Ă‚Â people who can’t even walk up the bloody stairs at work is amazing.
There was a time when keeping fit was encouraged. Officers could represent their force in inter-force competitions on job time. Every other police station had a multi-gym. Things have changed. Time off for sport ended years ago. The multi-gyms were ripped out t make room for bean counters. Nothing was said if you quickest move you ever made was getting your Maccy-D from the police car to the canteen.
It remains to be seen whether an annual fitness test will be introduced and how each force will deal with the lazy, fat & uninterested. They’ll either make the pass so low as to make the whole process a waste of time, or just let people do it if they want, otherwise they’ll get a rash of unfit officers suing them because they feel humiliated for not passing a basic level of fitness.