POLICE officers in Cumbria are being left suspended for more than a year, new figures have shown.

Cumbria Police Federation, which represents officers, described the figures as 'appalling'.

The statistics, obtained by The Mail under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that there are currently four police officers, including uniformed cops and detectives, who are suspended.

One has been suspended for 15 months while the others have been suspended for six, five, and three months.

Cumbria Constabulary confirmed there are currently no civilian employees who are suspended.

Cumbria Police Federation chairman Paul Williams said lengthy suspensions have 'a devastating effect on officers'.

"Our view is that these investigations take too long and officers are subject to months or sometimes years of uncertainty and scrutiny with no governance on timescales or deadlines," he said.

"This has a devastating effect on the officers subject to this process and makes it very difficult for them to return to active duty following the process.

"The Independent Office for Police Conduct has a history of appalling timeliness with investigations on officers and work is being done around how we can bring this into line.

"We also find that the final outcome ends up being disproportionate in relation to the amount of investigation taken place.

"Locally we work closely with our professional standards department who are aware on how timeliness affects the cops however we would still like to improve on this."

The force also revealed there are six officers who have been on sick leave for longer than six months; two in the north of the county, three in the south, and one in the west.

One officer in the north has been on sick leave for 1,195 days while one in the south has been off for 913 days and one in the west has been absent for 278 days.

One civilian employee in the west has been off sick for 414 days.

Mr Williams added: "Policing is a very difficult, demanding job and those who become ill or are seriously injured in their role need to feel they will be supported in every way possible.

"If we don’t look after our staff the organisation will not be fit to protect the public so it’s important we get it right."