FRONTLINE police officers in Essex are owed an average of three rest days each.

Statistics released by Essex Police following a Freedom of Information request revealed the 2,566 officers in the rank of either constable, sergeant, inspector or chief inspector were owed a total of 7,907 rest days which were awaiting to be taken as of October last year.

Across the country, some 237,697 rest days were either cancelled, outstanding or waiting to be re-rostered according to 30 forces who released the figures.

A typical full-time officer would expect to have around nine rest days in a standard month.

National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) lead for wellbeing, Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: "The last year has seen policing under real strain as our officers and staff dealt with a surge in the terror threat and rising violent crime, on top of a longer term increase in the complexity of police work.

"We noted an increase in the numbers of officers not being able to take their rest days because of operational need last summer, and highlighted it as an example of the increasing demand on policing and pressure on the frontline that needed to be considered in the policing settlement.

"Chiefs will continue to monitor this issue and put in measures to address problems because rest days are an essential part of how emergency service workers recover and when they aren’t taken we risk storing up problems for the future.”