The country’s leading researcher on post traumatic stress disorder in the police says a nationwide push to put more police on the front line has come at a catastrophic cost to health.

University of Adelaide Professor Sandy McFarlane says more than one police officer in three now suffers from serious psychological injuries as a direct result of work:

“This is like soldiers who’ve been at war. You have a use-by date because you simply physically and psychologically can’t cope with it.”

He says governments across the country have so profoundly failed police, the rate of suicide has become a national scandal.

Reporter: Deborah Cornwall

ABC PM program Thursday, December 11, 2014