Greater Manchester Police is the latest force to voice fears about the number of officers currently absent.
The sweeping cuts to policing in England and Wales have been blamed for a huge jump in officers taking time off sick with depression.
Greater Manchester Police has become the latest force to voice fears about the number of its officers suffering from stress and depression â€“ and the link to falling police officer numbers.
The Met Police Federation and West Midlands Police Federation have also raised their concerns on the issue.
Jackie Bowen, secretary of GMP Federation, told PoliceOracle.com: â€œOur view is that it is inevitable that with less officers having to undertake more work, the pressure will have a detrimental effect on police officer well-being â€“ sadly that appears to be the case.
â€œWe have raised this issue with the force. We are aware that stress related sickness has taken over as the number one reason for absence and have asked to be provided with the actual figures which we are still waiting for.
â€œThe force needs to look closely at the cause and ensure the workload for officers is kept at an acceptable level, as well as providing support for those affected.â€
According to reports, policing days in GMP lost through officers off for depression have surged by almost 60 per cent in just two years â€“ up from 1,536 in 2010-11 to 3,659 in 2012-13.
Rates of all sick leave across GMP have gone up 25 per cent as police numbers have gone down. According to the Office of National Statistics, there were 7,202 officers in GMP at the end of March. This was down 297 cops from the same point in 2012.
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, for Greater Manchester Police, said the force is â€œcommitted to the well-being of our staffâ€ and is â€œnaturally concerned about the number of colleagues who are currently unable to carry out their duties due to sickness absenceâ€.
He added: â€œWe are trying to better understand what lies behind this rise. The causes are varied and complex, but personal related stress is often a major, contributing factor.
â€œIt is in our best interests to do all that we can to get our colleagues back to doing what they do best, which is serving our communities.â€
The Metropolitan Police Federation told PoliceOracle.com it has also raised concerns with the London force about the levels of anxiety, depression and stress among officers.
â€œIt is an issue that is at the heart of our Do it Right campaign [which emphasises the need to stick to Police Regulations],â€ said the spokesman. â€œWhen we treat people poorly, ask them to do what cannot be done or push them to complete things that cannot be done if the rules and regulations are followed then we place them under huge and often unbearable pressure.
â€œWe know the campaign is sorely needed when we start to watch the rising levels of people suffering with stress and depression.â€
The spokesman added: â€œThe earlier you recognise the signs, the quicker you will overcome this debilitating condition. It can affect you and those around you so donâ€™t hide it. You need to deal with it.â€
The Samaritans have highlighted signs that might help officers recognise if a colleague is feeling under pressure. These include irritableness, nervousness or drinking or smoking more than usual. The person might also sleep or eat less than normal, become withdrawn and start to lose touch with family and friends.
PoliceOracle.com reported in August how in West Midlands Police, 809 police officers responded to a Fed survey which has revealed 38.4 per cent of constables and 45.2 per cent of sergeants report having a case of work-related stress.
Chris Jones, Secretary of West Midlands Police Federation, said: â€œWe have fewer officers available and the staffing levels are not right. Officers are taking up more and more work and we are spreading ourselves too thin on the ground. And we are losing officers through sickness because of this.â€
Cuts blamed for rocketing sickness levels