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North Yorkshire Police to review shift patterns after complaints of ill health
A CHIEF of police has said he will launch an inquiry into shift patterns after officers said it is making them sick and leaving morale low.
Tim Madgewick, the temporary Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, said he was committed to finding an alternative to the nine-band system of two early shifts, two late shifts, two night shifts before three rest days, and has ordered a review.
At a Police Federation meeting in Harrogate on Thursday, chairman of the local federation Mark Botham said officers felt angry and betrayed after job losses, changes to pensions and the shift system and said morale was low and officers felt unmotivated.
“The shift pattern is despised by the officers who have to work it and is hated by their families to whom they are becoming strangers,” he said.
“The experts on shift systems are not the executive of the force or those in logistics and planning – they are the people here tonight who completed our shift survey.”
The system led to threequarters of North Yorkshire officers reporting they had suffered health problems and tiredness in a survey conducted by the organisation.
Mr Botham said: “All politicians – including the police and crime commissioner candidates we have in the audience – would do well to remember that police officers feel angry and betrayed.”
He said the force has too few sergeants and had lost 250 officers since 2007, leaving 1,400.
Mr Botham said: “The force has reduced the number of police officers to a level where they cannot cope with the demand, and to a level which puts our members in danger.”
Mr Madgewick said: “I have heard the message in relation to shifts and have heard first hand, from trusted colleagues, about the impact of shift deviations. This is not acceptable.”
He said he was aware some staff did not feel part of a team and vowed to make changes to improve welfare.
He added: “I have committed to a shift review, led by Acting Superintendent Nick Hunter and colleagues who have recent experience of shift working. I will make the commitment that we will find an alternative