Gibraltar Defence Police officers lead the way across all police forces in the UK with regards to fitness with 98.9% of all eligible officers in the force having passed the latest fitness test.
This follows the adoption by the force of a fitness test in line with their UK counterparts of the Home Office Police and the Ministry of Defence Police.
The Job Related Fitness Test (JRFT), commonly known as the Bleep Test, was introduced in 2014 ‘without consequence’, meaning that officers who failed to achieve a specific grade were not obligated to any fitness development.
The JRFT consists of 15-metre shuttle runs and officers are required to reach the end of the 15-metre mark before a bleep sounds.
The test is progressive, meaning that the bleeps sound sooner with each passing shuttle run.
Officers’ role function and area of specialism dictates each officer’s pass mark, which ranges from 5.4 to 7.6.
An alternative test, the Treadmill Test, was also introduced for officers that suffer from multiskeletal issues.
Both the JRFT and the Treadmill Test expose the officers to the same level of physical effort.
As with all major changes in working practices, the introduction of the tests did not come without challenge and, in order to motivate and inspire officers, the Force provided free annual gymnasium membership so that their officers could fully prepare for this annual test.
The Force also contracted the assistance of their colleagues from the Princess Royal Medical Centre (PRMC) at Devil’s Tower Camp; this assured the Force that officers were deemed fit and healthy to carry out this test.
The ‘without consequence’ test remained in practice until June 2017, when forces in the UK officially launched the ‘with consequence’ period.
The GDP then followed this approach.
As the title ‘with consequence’ suggests, officers that fail the test are placed in a programme which assists them in preparing for future assessments.
The police officer in charge of Training, Acting Chief Inspector Eric Olivero has thanked the GDP Training Department for their efforts in delivering the JRFT and Treadmill Test, colleagues at PRMC, especially Audrey Maclean and Kevin Vinnicombe, and the Physical Training Instructors at the Devil’s Tower Camp Gymnasium.
“GDP could not have achieved this fantastic result without their support.”
On a professional development level, GDP has also invested in training several members of their own staff to Gym Instructor Level II and III, qualifications required to be able to monitor the tests.