Sussex Police to review compulsory retirement

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SUSSEX Police is recommending to the Sussex Police Authority (SPA) that regulation making it compulsory for officers to retire after 30 years of service is withdrawn later this year.

As well as recommending Police Regulation A19 is withdrawn, Sussex Police is also expected to recommend a “modest recruitment” of officers in 2013.

Marion Fanthorpe, director of human resources, said: “Sussex Police Authority took the difficult decision 12 months ago to approve the recommendation made by the force to use Police Regulation A19.

“It is with regret we have had to lose a number of excellent officers, however, it has been crucial for us to be able to make the necessary level of savings needed by 2015, given the rates of natural turnover of police officers.

“Along with faster than expected progress on making savings, we have also found higher levels of savings from areas other than direct post reductions than we originally anticipated.

“Our overall estimate of numbers of officer posts we will need to reduce has now been revised down from 500 to 400 and of staff posts from 550 to 450.

“In light of this progress, Sussex Police is proposing to the SPA that the force is in a financial position to end the use of regulation A19 from the end of September.

“As we now estimate the number for post reductions to be lower than originally estimated, this will allow for some modest recruitment of officers before 2015.

“We have estimated we will need a cohort of 30 new officers in early 2013, who will be selected from the 98 candidates we have kept in our recruitment pool.

“They will be serving in our local communities from May next year.

“We still have a long way to go to find all the savings we need, however it is good we are now in a position to take these two positive steps.”

The report containing this proposal will be published on the SPA website tomorrow and members will make a decision on Thursday, May 31.