THE number of police officers in the region off sick with anxiety, depression and stress is rising.

Last year saw the figure rise, with 155 officers taking time off with mental health pressures - 95 for stress, 27 with depression and 33 for anxiety.

In 2011 a total of 135 officers took time off for the same reasons - and in 2010 the number stood at 115.

The Police Federation claimed the pressure of increased workloads, in the face of budget cuts, was taking its toll.

"Certainly it's very worrying," said Steve Williams, the Police Federation's chairman. "While the service is not at breaking point officers are really feeling the pinch, and the figures reveal the seriousness of what is happening on the ground.

"We need to take stock of that. They're being pushed from pillar to post. The public has the right to expect a quality service, but officers are being overstretched.

"It's a sad reflection on the current situation in policing in this country. The cuts are having an effect."

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