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Olympics: Officers Can Carry Leave Over

Officers who served during games can add un-claimed time off to next year’s tally, says force

The Metropolitan Police Service is allowing its officers to carry more days of annual leave over to next year after a reduction in time off during the Olympics.

The force cut the amount of annual leave by roughly half to maximise the personnel it had for the operation to keep the Olympics and Paralympics – the largest peacetime operations in British policing history – secure.

Officers receive up to 30 days annual leave a year and Met officers are usually allowed to carry five days they have not taken over.

This has been lifted to 15 – but only for officers who have taken at least 10 days in annual leave during 2012.

John Tully, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said many officers had leave remaining but were still having requests to take it turned down.

He added that one officer had told the Fed he had applied for leave 19 times, before and after the Olympics, and been turned down on each occasion.

Mr Tully added there were spikes in when the officers wanted time off – on many occasions because they had young families and were bound by school holidays. Officers were facing having no leave until January, he added.

Meanwhile, AC Chris Allison, the National Olympic Security Co-ordinator, said the shift pattern during the games had helped the force “maintain core policing”.

He told London Assembly members: “There are certain peak periods for leave. During this summer holidays, we had to put significant restrictions on it.

“We’ve allowed people to take more holiday forward in the next few years than they normally so they can take extended holidays at some other time.

“We will continue to ensure we have the sufficient staff necessary to deliver core policing and that (the loss of annual leave) will be managed away over a period of time.”

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