Police battling with fatigue, report finds
POLICE officers are struggling with fatigue, says the WA Police Union.
The WA Police recently released findings from an internal review of the Frontline 2020 Metropolitan Operating Model, which was rolled out in December 2014.
WA Police Union president George Tilbury said there was no doubt officer burnout was a real issue.
He said a survey of more than 1100 members had found officers were burdened by travel, rarely took entitled meal breaks, and were struggling under an increased workload brought on by vacancies.
“Respondents revealed numerous frightening incidents travelling to and from work due to fatigue such as falling asleep at the wheel, driving off the road or on to the other side of the road, completely losing concentration while driving, running red lights or stop signs, hitting stationary objects along the road or kerb and being involved in traffic crashes,” he said.
“The report also found that almost 82 per cent of respondents expressed that early morning finishes on evening shift created significant fatigue-related issues when commuting home.”
Fatigue issues were also reported by officers, particularly those in response teams.
Rosters were found to be EBA compliant and there were no substantiated fatigue-related OSH incidents, according to WA Police, but they have promised to explore further.
In a win for the model, public satisfaction and confidence, the number of vehicles available for frontline tasks, prosecutions and engagement with the community had increased.
Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said the model had provided a solid platform to go on with, but conceded there was plenty of work to do.