Stress could be behind increased police officer sick leave, says Scottish force

A Scottish police force has said that stress may be the reason behind high sick leave rates within the organisation, according to scotsman.com.

Those in charge of Lothian and Borders Police said that stress and a demanding workload may be the reason why 14 per cent of officers from the force have had ten or more sick days in a row last year.

However, the force claimed that there are procedures, such as counselling courses and stress management services, in place that are trying to tackle the situation.

A spokesperson for the organisation told heraldscotland.com: "There are procedures in place such as critical incident stress management and risk assessed stress management. Counselling services are on hand, as well as physiotherapy and light-duties return to work schemes."

However, John Lamont, Chief Whip of the Scottish Conservative party, called that situation "concerning", adding: "Our police officers do a great job in keeping our streets safe. However it's concerning so many officers are off sick for such a long period of time."

He also raised fears that the current work absence system is being "abused".

According to data released under the Freedom of Information Act, 425 out of the force's 3,000 officers were sick for ten continuous days or more last year.