Cumbria Police faces £749,000 overspend due to retirements

Cumbria Police's chief constable, Michelle Skeer Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Cumbria Police's chief constable, Michelle Skeer, said there was no pattern to early retirements

A police force is facing a £749,000 overspend after a rise in the number of officers retiring due to ill health.

Cumbria Police said most cases were the result of serious illness or injury and "not necessarily stress-related".

The retirements cost the force £80,000 in sick pay per officer - equivalent to two times their salary.

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said the force's budget was not "out of control".

It is expecting at least eight retirements due to ill health this year but has only made provision for three in its 2018/19 budget, a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel was told.

Mr McCall added: "I think it's important that the public understand whilst we are forecasting an overspend, we do have plans to make sure that the budget at the end of the year comes in on budget one way or another."

Chief constable Michelle Skeer said the force utilises pre-emptive checks and occupational health tests to assess officers' wellbeing, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service .

She also said there was "mandatory screening for psychological impact" for officers working on high-stress investigations, such as child abuse cases.

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