ONE in 50 police officers have failed fitness tests since they were made compulsory.

Of the 13,024 police officers tested nationwide, 353 failed the tests which came into force in September.

In this region, a total of 49 officers from Cleveland, Durham and North Yorkshire police did not pass. They will face disciplinary action if they fail three times.

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Of that total, 81 per cent of them were women, according to information collected under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from the Press Association.

Professor Craig Jackson, head of psychology at Birmingham City University, said the tests were “not fit for purpose”.

He said: “Police forces have a number of officers labeled fit when they’re unfit, and they’re screening out officers who are fit – they just happen to be female”.

A Cleveland police spokesman said: “We have provided information from our trials to ensure the test doesn’t discriminate against anyone with a disability or by age or gender.”

While a North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “To date, 1,037 officers have undertaken the test with a 97.3 per cent pass rate. The remaining officers will take the test over the coming months.”

Durham Police added “We are aware there were three officers who did not meet the standard and they are currently working through development programmes in order to ensure they reach the required fitness levels.”