Essex Police officers have an average of 13.8 days off sick a year - one of the worst sickness records in Britain - according to a new report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.

The inspection, in January, also indicated that huge strides have been taken in improving Essex Police's dog training centre in light of a 1998 cruelty case in which three policemen were charged with cruelty to police dogs.

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