British police officers should undertake an annual fitness test and face a pay cut if they repeatedly fail, a report said Thursday, after finding that half of London policemen were overweight.
"I think the public will be surprised that after passing a fitness test at the point of entry, except in special units like firearms, physical fitness is not tested again in a 30-, 35-year career," said report author Tom Winsor.
The senior lawyer was commissioned by the government in October 2010 to review police pay and conditions as part of ministers' efforts to slash spending through cuts and reform of public services.
He found 52 percent of male officers in London's Scotland Yard police force are overweight, 22 percent are obese and one in ten are morbidly obese. For women, the figures were 32 percent, 16 percent and two percent respectively.
Winsor recommended that from September 2013, police officers be required to complete a test which would see them running the equivalent of 8.8 kilometres per hour (5.5 miles per hour) for three minutes and 35 seconds.
Those who fail the test three times should be subject to disciplinary procedures and a pay cut, the report said.
By 2018, the fitness test should become more difficult by adding activities which "police officers do and can be involved in", such as climbing over walls, it added.