A police force's controversial policy to forcibly retire its officers has been suspended. Devon and Cornwall Police Authority used the pensions clause, known as regulation A19, to meet government budget cuts and saw officers with 30 years' service required to stop working.
A police force's controversial policy to forcibly retire its officers has been suspended.
Devon and Cornwall Police Authority used the pensions clause, known as regulation A19, to meet government budget cuts and saw officers with 30 years' service required to stop working. It approved the use of compulsory retirement in 2010 in an attempt to help the force save #47 million over four years. But it warned that the incoming Police and Crime Commissioner could reinstate the policy after they are elected in November.
It comes after the Police Federation had a tribunal claim that it was not properly consulted about the A19 clause rejected by an employment judge. Mike Bull, chairman of the authority, said: "Devon and Cornwall Police Authority has today agreed with the chief constable's proposal to suspend the use of regulation A19 with immediate effect. This will mean that officers with 30 years' pensionable service after September 28 2012 will not be subject to compulsory retirement. Those who reached their 30 years' pensionable service before this date have sadly left the organisation and were provided with appropriate support and help. Any officers that have already been served their notice for compulsory retirement, to retire on a date after September 28 will no longer be required to. These officers will be contacted and they will choose whether they wish to retire or remain serving.''
The authority will ask the incoming commissioner to review the decision in the 2013-14 budget process, Mr Bull said. ``The commissioner's arrival and subsequent financial decisions, such as the setting of the council tax precept, may impact on the suspension of A19, as will discussions about how the general efficiency and operational effectiveness of the force is best assured going forward,'' Mr Bull said. ``However, officers can be assured that any future decision to reinstate A19 will be made in full consultation with staff associations. I understand this is an emotive issue for officers and we were disappointed that we had to invoke regulation A19. In an ideal world we would not have wanted to compulsorily retire any officer. The impact of the Government grant cuts made reductions inevitable and led to A19 being invoked. The next few years remain a challenge but we are confident that the changes we have made to the way we deliver policing in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will ensure that people continue to receive an excellent service from us.''