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Met calls on retired PCs and sergeants to rejoin the force

Home Office says changes to tax and pension arrangements will be made in order to recompense officers who come back to the job

The Commissioner Cressida Dick is writing to every former Met office who retired as PCs or Sergeants within the last five years to ask them to re-join in either a paid or a voluntary capacity on a part or fulltime basis.

Those approaching the end of their 30 years’ pensionable service are being asked to stay on.

The Home Office yesterday (Thursday 26 March) announced they intended to make changes to the tax and pension arrangements in order to encourage officers back into the workforce through Covid-19.

A spokesperson said it was too early to say what these changes would be.

The force said in a statement: "We look forward to receiving full details and confirmation that the added costs will be met by Government, so that we can communicate clearly to those affected."

The force said senior officers will also be able to re-join if they bring specific skills and experiences.

Those who retired over the rank of inspector or above or feel returning to service “is not right for them at the moment” are being asked to become Special Constables instead and commit at least 16 hours a month.

A total of 2,586 PCs and 1,427 Sergeants retired in the last five years.

The Met went on to say: “The return and retention of officers with valuable skills and experience will help to increase the Met’s resilience and allow us to be even more flexible in providing the best service we can to London during this unprecedented time, as the country – and the Capital – responds to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.”

The Commissioner said: “On behalf of London, and all the men and women of the Met, it is important that we take all reasonable steps to bolster our numbers.

“Demands on us will grow and vary over the coming weeks but I want people to know and see that the Met is here for them. We must maintain our operational resilience and continue to provide the best possible service to London.

“Police officers overwhelmingly join ‘the job’ to help people and to make a difference, and that desire will be as strong today as it was the very first day they joined. I am hopeful that these exceptionally experienced and knowledgeable former colleagues choose to come and be part of our team and support London at this extraordinary time - either as a re-employed police officer, special constable or a volunteer.”

Those who take up the offer will complete an online form and then go through a fast-track medical assessment, be re-vetted and receive essential training. If an applicant's training is still in date when they re-join, there will be no need to undergo further training until the expiry date - unless medical advice states otherwise. 

The Met said that if there is a need for further training, this will be arranged "as soon as possible but will not delay the process or any start date".

Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Martin Hewitt, said: “Police officers are not immune to the coronavirus and so we have been extensively planning for how we will maintain critical policing for the public with significant numbers of officers and staff off sick.

“The Home Secretary’s package of measures for those returning to policing and the support of our special constables will boost our resources as we come under increasing pressure – it is hugely welcomed.

“Those who come forward to help us, and our existing hardworking officers, must get the full protection they need to keep them safe and so we will keep working with the Home Office to make sure crucial personal protection equipment gets to the front line.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “All our frontline services really are the best of us and are doing an incredible job to stop this terrible virus from spreading.”

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