Met Police officers are owed over 220,000 rest days amid “unprecedented” demands, it has emerged.
The Police Federation of England and Wales annual conference was told officers “dread going to work” in case their rest days or annual leave has been cancelled and heard of concerns around staff mental health.
The BBC on Saturday reported that Met Police officers racked up 189,000 cancelled rest days last year .
HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Tom Winsor was applauded when he described to the conference as “unacceptable” that the police service has demand pushed onto it from other public services.
Sir Tom said: “The failures of other public services push demand onto the police, which is demand that the police shouldn’t deal with. That is just not acceptable.
“For example, why don’t we have child and adolescent mental health services that work seven days a week?
“When police can be relied upon to get the job done there is less pressure on leaders to bring about much needed improvement.
“Tired and frazzled people will make mistakes – and they will make honest mistakes – and they will be blamed for it, but where does the blame really lie? Something has to give.”
PFEW Vice-Chair Che Donald added: “This is unfortunately replicated up and down the country.
“Officers who are overworked, over stressed and responding to incidents but if something goes wrong it’s the police officer who’s highlighted as being in the wrong but when in fact it’s the service who’ve let the officer down.”
Meanwhile, Chair of the Met Police Federation, Ken Marsh, told the BBC that “unprecedented” demands on the force, including terror attack and the Grenfell Tower fire, had put “massive strain” on staff.
In the wake of high-profile events, Deputy Met Commissioner Craig Mackey Mackey said police had to work rest days, on bank holidays and long hours “in order to get the job done”.
“I have been amazed by the continued dedication and commitment that is being shown and we have made efforts to ensure that officers regain their rest days as soon as possible,” he told the BBC.
Officers had been allowed to carry rest days into 2018 and 2019, Mackey said.