The News and Star report:

Seventeen civilian police workers were on long-term sick leave in April, costing the force nearly £70,000, figures have revealed.

The statistics, released in response to a freedom of information request, show that the workers involved have collectively racked up 1,264 days of long-term sick leave.

But officials at Cumbria Constabulary point out that sickness rates among civilian staff are currently below the national average for public sector workers.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.