Police officers guard the arrested activists as bailiffs start the eviction of Dale Farm travellers site near Basildon, England, 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of London, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011. British police in riot gear on Wednesday used sledgehammers to clear the way for the eviction of a community of Irish Travelers from a site where they have lived illegally for a decade. A large force of police and bailiffs faced resistance from several dozen residents and supporters who threw bricks and struggled with officers. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

London: British police and support staff must prove their fitness in annual tests or have their pay docked after a survey found 64 percent were overweight, obese or morbidly obese.

The report into police pay and conditions suggested that officers who failed a fitness test three times should be disciplined and could lose 8 percent of their salary, as much as £3 000 (R35 000) for some. It follows a survey of more than 11 500 officers which found that 44 percent were overweight, 19 percent obese, and one percent morbidly obese.

The review, which comes as the government seeks to make cuts to police budgets, recommended other changes which would allow officers to be sacked, cut starting salaries, raise the pension age and require staff to have better qualifications. – Reuters