Cleveland Police officers owed 7,431 rest days - totalling more than 20 years’ work

More than 20 years’ worth of rest days are owed to police officers in Cleveland.

Monday, 25th March 2019, 2:29 pm
Updated Monday, 25th March 2019, 2:33 pm

Cleveland Police had 1,239 officers at the last count and information released to the Local Democracy Reporting Service has revealed those officers are owed a staggering 7,431 rest days in total and a collective 12,370 hours in lieu.

That equates to 6 days of rest per officer – and almost ten hours in lieu each.

The force has lost more than 500 front-line officers and PCSOs since 2010.

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The figures on leave and time in lieu owed date to March 15 this year.

Police officers do not have the same employee rights as other public sector employees.

They are banned from taking strike action and rest days can be cancelled where operational needs demand it.

Rest days are used by officers to recuperate and Cleveland Police documents show they do receive compensation for working rest days at short notice.

Double-time pay is given for working a rest day when less than five days of notice is given, and time-and-a-half is paid for between five and 15 days of notice.

But if officers are given more than 15 days of notice, they get another rest day but no extra pay.

Between December last year and the middle of March, rest days owed increased from 7,226 to 7,431.

However, the amount of lieu time owed to officers fell slightly from 13,062 hours to 12,370 hours.

Chief Superintendent Alison Jackson, of Cleveland Police, said: “Due to the reactive nature of policing, rest days have to be occasionally cancelled to protect the public.

“As a force it is our duty to maintain the safety of our communities. Large scale events, protests and firearms incidents are an example of why we would cancel rest days.

“We understand why time off is so important to our officers and as such, careful consideration is always given before rest days are cancelled.

“The health and wellbeing of our staff is always our utmost priority and officers are able to take their owed days back when requested.

“In addition to this, we have and will continue to invest a substantial amount of money into occupational health to ensure the welfare of each of our officers is met.”

Alex Metcalfe , Local Democracy Reporting Service