Police wellness managementFigures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act show that last year, police officers took 225,000 days off work because of stress, a newspaper has reported.

The findings for England and Wales, revealed by the Daily Mail, showed that this is equivalent to 600 staff a day calling in sick with stress-related depression or anxiety, as well as mental health problems.

More than 40 officers took an entire year off because of stress. The force which saw the most days lost was the Metropolitan Police, with a total of 27,437.

A spokesperson for the force said advances have been made in training officers and managers to spot early signs of stress and such problems have decreased by 16 per cent over the past four years.

Commenting on the findings, Professor Cary Cooper, of Lancaster University, told the newspaper: "Stress can come from a range of things like the job pattern interfering with family life, to the paperwork associated with modern policing, to the feeling that they are a political football."

The Health and Safety Executive noted that work-related stress is not confined to particular sectors and therefore a population-wide approach to the topic is required to prevent it.