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Chiefs have agreed to pay Fed fees for Specials, says NPCC

Chiefs made clear Specials should be able to claim the cost of Fed membership.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has made clear no Special Constable should have to cover the cost of joining the Police Federation.

Clarification came after the Fed revealed there is still confusion over the arrangements for volunteer officers to sign up for legal protection which is now possible thanks to new legislation.

Individual officers in England and Wales have begun sending in their applications from multiple forces, but how their £26-a-month fee is being paid varies between forces.

Either the cost comes from the budget of Chiefs or Police and Crime Commissioners – following a decision by the Home Office to push the bill down to local level.

Specials must apply individually and then either forces pay the Fed directly or refund the officers through expenses.

Police Oracle understands that discussions between the Fed and some forces are still ongoing despite the proposal being under discussion for several years and months of legislative scrutiny in Parliament.

Among those to confirm its volunteers won’t be left out of pocket is Hertfordshire where Chief Constable Charlie Hall has made clear to the Fed that they will be paying up.

The National Police Chief’s Council said volunteer officers in every force in England and Wales should be able to claim their costs.

The NPCC told Police Oracle: “In September last year Chief Constables Council agreed the principle that all Special Constables should be able to claim their PFEW membership as expenses.”

Membership is vital for the part-time officers who are increasingly carrying out the same work as full-time colleagues including driving and, in the case of British Transport Police, carrying Tasers.  

The Fed said it was now working with forces to finalise arrangements.

Steve Hartshorn, National Chair, said: “Following the NPCC agreement to fund Special Constable membership, our expectation is that all 43 police forces will pay the membership fees of their Special Constables who wish to join PFEW, either through a reimbursement to the Special Constable, or a direct payment to PFEW; and we are currently in communication with forces to determine their preferred method.

“Whichever method is chosen by the force, the Special Constable will need to individually request to join PFEW membership; it is therefore pleasing to see this has started to happen in a number of forces in the first month.”

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