The number of working days lost to mental health issues among Metropolitan Police officers and staff has increased by 30 per cent in the past four years according to new figures.

Between the 2018/19 financial year and 2021/22, the number of Metropolitan Police working days lost to issues such as stress, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) increased from 81,576 to 106,412.

Police officers accounted for the majority of working days lost in that time, with the figure increasing from 68,283 in 2018/19 to 78,859 in 2021/22 among them. Among other members of Met staff, the number of working days lost to mental health increased from 13,293 to 27,553 in that time.

The figures were revealed by Sadiq Khan following a written question from Labour London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai.

Mr Desai, Labour’s London Assembly policing and crime spokesperson and Assembly Member for City and East, said the “worrying” figures give a “real-time indication how mental health issues prevent the police performing their day-to-day duties”.

He said: “Underpaid, hardworking police officers and staff worked tirelessly through the pandemic with courage and professionalism and are under pressure every day. They are some of the bravest in society, but they also need support.

“Policing has evolved to encompass multiple roles, officers face dealing with distressing incidents involving highly vulnerable people more often. They must be properly trained to deal with these situations.”

Last month, it was reported that more than 13,000 police officers in England and Wales took time off for mental health related reasons in 2021, representing a record high.

Ken Marsh, chair of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said that officers are under “huge pressure”, working long hours and going as long as 22 days without a day off due to officers having to “provide resilience on so many areas that we didn’t before”.

He said: “The Met is very good to a certain degree, but they don’t fully understand what it involves when you start talking about mental health and welfare. They put officers on UPP [unsatisfactory performance and attendance procedures] and want them back to work.

“It’s quite new, this phenomenon, that so many officers are unfortunately suffering from mental health issues. We’ve got to get cleverer, we’ve got to get quicker and we’ve got to get better as an organisation at recognising what the issues are and recognising before it gets to the point of breakdown scenarios.”

Mr Marsh added that the Met is “moving in the right direction” with regards to officer and staff wellbeing, but that “we need to see how that unfolds”.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said the Met wants its officers and staff to “work in an environment where they are thriving and not simply surviving” and where “they know that they will be supported”.

The spokesperson said: “The health and well-being of our police officers and staff is of paramount importance. The Met have a vast range of ways our people can get the support they need during challenging times.

“This includes (but is not exclusive to) our employee assistance programme, which offers free and confidential support to anyone who may be suffering from mental health, financial problems or other challenges. Met officers and staff can access counselling and self-refer – should they wish to do so in complete confidence.

“Specialist Occupational Health support is provided to those officers and staff directly affected by traumatic events.”