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More than 370,000 Met working days lost to mental health

The statistic covers data from the last four years.

The Met Police lost 371,988 working days due to mental health across the last four years. It comprises 293,324 ‘officer’ days and 78,663 ‘staff’ days.

The official data has highlighted a dramatic increase whereby figures have gone from 81,576 in the 2018/19 financial year to 106,412 in 2021/22.

However, the increase has been steeper for staff – in 18/19 staff had 13,293 days off for mental health compared with 27,553 in 21/22. While officer days off overall are higher but have increased less dramatically – from 68,283 to 78,859.(The Met employs more than 43,000 people - 33,843 of whom are officers). 

The data was revealed in a written answer from London Mayor Sadiq Khan to London Assembly member Mr Desai.

Sadiq Khan told Mr Desai that “there is further work being conducted by the MPS to understand the specific elements driving the increase, particularly for police staff and any additional steps required to support staff”.

Labour’s London Assembly Policing and Crime Spokesperson, Unmesh Desai AM, said: “These worrying figures give a real-time indication how mental health issues prevent the police performing their day-to-day duties.

“Underpaid, hardworking police officers and staff worked tirelessly through the pandemic with courage and professionalism, and are under pressure every day. They are some of the bravest in society, but they also need support.

“Policing has evolved to encompass multiple roles, officers face dealing with distressing incidents involving highly vulnerable people more often. They must be properly trained to deal with these situations.

“The Met should record all traumatic callouts and make sure staff have access to regular confidential meetings with supervisors to ensure they are coping.”

Meanwhile, the Met is not the only force experiencing the same phenomenon. FoI requests submitted by the Scottish Lib Dems last month showed that Police Scotland lost 65,434 officer working days in 18 months.

Taking a mean daily salary of £159 – this was estimated to have cost the force over £10m.

Chair of the Scottish Police Federation, David Hamilton, told the 1919 magazine that the figure was “appalling but sadly not surprising”.

He said: “What is most shocking of all though is that despite this issue being raised time and time again in our parliament, nothing is being done about it.

“There is no strategy, no vision, not even recognition of the scale of the crisis police officers are facing.”

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