SUSSEX Police officers with 30 years’ experience will be forced to retire as cost-cutting measures continue - but a chief officer reaching the same milestone will escape the chop.
On Thursday, May 26, Sussex Police Authority was expected to rubber-stamp plans to invoke the controversial regulation A19 of the Police Pensions Regulations 1987.
This states officers can be ‘required to retire’ if their retention would ‘not be in the general interests of efficiency’.
But, in response to a Freedom of Information request submitted by the Observer, Sussex Police admitted Regulation A19 does not apply to chief officers.
These include Assistant Chief Constable Nick Wilkinson, who is due to reach 30 years service within the next six months.
Sussex Police says chief officers are appointed directly by the police authority under different terms and conditions and subject to regular performance reviews.
The news that ACC Wilkinson and his colleagues are not subject to the same regulations has embittered some officers.
Bob Brown, chairman of the Police Federation in Sussex, said: “There’s anger that people, who are dedicated to the profession they’re in and have done service for 30 years and over 30 years, are going to be forced from a job they love doing. We will lose a lot of expertise and experience virtually overnight.”
And it seems not all members of the Sussex Police Authority are happy with the plan to invoke Regulation A19.
Cllr Godfrey Daniel, said: “Why should we lose experienced, long-serving officers who are happy and serving well?
“Regulations should apply to officers of all rankings.”