A SENIOR British Police officer today revealed almost 70 per cent of her force are currently obese or overweight.

Chief Superintendent Lucy Hutson made the astonishing revelations in an email in which she raised concerns at the 'risk' level of the majority of her officers.

Hampshire Constabulary claimed the figures were in line with national obesity statistics and said its officers had a lot of 'lean body mass'.

Research conducted during the lockdown has found being obese doubles the risk of needing hospital treatment for coronavirus.

Annual fitness tests became compulsory for all police officers in England and Wales in 2014 following a national review.

In a recent email to Hampshire Constabulary, Superintendent Hutson, who has 23 years experience in the police, said: "Our health screening programme indicates that almost 70 per cent of the force is currently overweight or obese.

"This lifestyle condition carries a higher risk of developing heart conditions such as coronary heart disease, type two diabetes and cancer.

"In a drive to reduce this in force, Hampshire Constabulary can provide support to officers and staff in lowering their risk level and improving their risk level and improving their quality of life both on and off duty."

Officers who need to handcuff or restrain suspects must undergo annual fitness tests which involve shuttle run tests totalling 525 metres to be completed in a minimum 3mins 35secs.

If an officer is not able to pass the fitness test at the first attempt, the College of Policing advises forces to 'provide support' and allow at least two retakes.

If they fail again after that then they face disciplinary action for 'unsatisfactory performance'.

Specialist officers, such as firearms or counter-terrorism units are required to attain additional levels on the bleep test to make sure that they are in top shape.

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary today said that Supt Hutson jhad been working off figures from 'a few weeks ago' which showed 67 per cent of the force was 'obese' but the figure had now fallen to 63 per cent.

She added: "Although these figures show around 60 per cent of our officers and staff are overweight or obese, that is not off kilter with the national figures which show that 63 per cent of people in the UK are overweight or obese.

"However, in terms of body fat percentage rather than BMI, only 18 per cent came out as obese, showing that there is a lot of functional lean body mass (muscle) out there in the Constabulary.

"This data has come from a voluntary health screening project funded by the OPCC, with a data set of 500 of 6,000 officers and staff this may not be representative. Those who have taken part are self-selected not a controlled sample of officers and staff.

"Health screening is part of a number of ways that we ensuring our staff and officers are fit to serve and supported from recruitment to retirement.

“There is evidence that shift work can make weight maintenance more challenging.

"To combat this we are being proactive with screening our staff, offering advice and guidance, and working with our workforce to help them stay as physically and mentally healthy as possible.

"All officers are required to pass an annual fitness test."

In the UK as a whole, around one in three British adults are clinically obese, classified as those with a body mass index (BMI) above 30.

That makes it one of the highest rates in the western world.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be convinced that the reason he ended up in intensive care with coronavirus was because of his weight, which was 17 and a half stone before he fell ill.