Officers are continuing to suffer from stress and ill-health on duty as the severe reductions in personnel numbers take their toll, it has been claimed.
Personnel in more forces around the country are now saying that overwork is now becoming a real issue â€“ and have warned that the next wave of cuts will hit them harder.
Mike Stubbs, Chairman of North Yorkshire Police Federation, has become the latest to voice concern about the situation, warning that more austere times are looming on the horizon.
He said members had seen cuts made to personnel with more set to follow â€“ and predicted large rural forces such as his would suffer as officers were spread more thinly.
Mr Stubbs added: â€œWe have already lost officers and soon the next wave of reductions is going to be hitting us â€“ there are less of us, and people have to take time out for court and training.â€
The official was speaking as Steve White, Chairman of the national Police Federation, warned that many serving colleagues were now approaching burnout.
Mr White â€“ who took the helm of the staff association in May â€“ added: â€œOur members up and down the country are telling us day in, day out [that] they have reached breaking point.
â€œForces are now in the position of having to stretch their workforce as far as they can and this cannot be the best way to continue providing a top quality policing service.â€
As reported on PoliceOracle.com, one large rural force has seen days lost due to depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and other mental problems almost double.
Devon and Cornwall Police, which has also just seen a significant reduction in officers, has seen a 46 per cent rise in sick leave taken by officers suffering from mental illnesses.
The force has seen a reduction of officers from just over 3,300 to 2,851, according to its local Fed branch.
Senior officers have disputed the figures, claiming that several sub-categories of absences had been missed from the Federationâ€™s statistics and absences had remained largely consistent.
However, the number of officers suffering from stress-related illnesses has also gone up at Essex Police, according to the forceâ€™s Federation Chairman Mark Smith.
He said: â€œThe cuts will continue, there will be fewer frontline officers, pressure will continue to pile onto officers. Government cuts are the foundation for many problems and the sickness comes on the back of some of the things that have already been created.
â€œFor instance, workload pressure because of falling officer numbers, pressure of not being able to get annual leave because officers are being used in other officers leaving fewer officers behind and sickness levels because when someone does become sick it maybe isnâ€™t being addressed early on. Thereâ€™s been a lack of investment in occupational health and welfare.â€
At West Midlands Police a survey of rank-and-file officers revealed last year they have more than twice the national average stress levels â€“ and one in two PCs wants to leave the job.
The survey showed 38 per cent of constables and 45 per cent of sergeants reported experiencing work-related stress.