AN EXPERIENCED Notts Police officer who has amassed 30 years of service has spoken out over his “disappointment” about being forced to hand in his retirement papers.
The authority are currently consulting on who will be given compulsory retirement – under Regulation A19 – in a move which is expected to affect more than 100 officers.
PC Tony McDonald, beat officer in Retford, has spent his career patrolling the streets of Bassetlaw, having had spells in Harworth and Worksop.
“I think it is very sad, I’m not looking to retire,” said the 50-year-old, father-of-four.
“When I was approaching my 30 years of service I was aware of the regulation, I was aware of its existence and the implication it could have on me.”
“I was due to retire on 2nd February but it was always my intention to stay on albeit only five years, which would take me up to 55.”
PC McDonald and his fellow colleagues were told of the force’s decision towards the end of last year, before Chf Constable Julia Hodson approached the Police Authority in December.
He added: “My initial reaction, when I realised I wouldn’t be able to continue, was disappointment.”
“Disappointment for all the good friends, colleagues and partnerships that we worked hard to build up over the last four-and-a-half years.”
“It is a shame but someone will come in when – and if – I go, it is not the end of the world but it is a shame.”
“My personal opinion is that I’ve done my 30 years and the job doesn’t owe me a living. We are very well looked after and we do get a well paid pension, it’s one of the best ones going,” he said.
“If I retire I will take stock and go and get a job somewhere else. I’m a big believer if you’ve got a big heart and you’re a hard worker you will get employed anywhere.”
“Bobbies like me will always be here.”
Last month the authority agreed Regulation A19 would be applied on a rolling basis to 31st March next year.
The consultation with staff associations will conclude at the end of this week and will be followed by individual meetings with affected officers.
However, Police Federation chairman Mick Taylor said they were seeking legal advice due to the authority’s misuse of the regulation. He said: “The ethos of A19 is that it should not be applied in isolation.”
“It should be used alongside A18, which takes into account the officer’s age, and A20, an officer’s health or unsatisfactory performance.”
“It has been applied like a blanket rather than on an individual basis.”
Dpt Chf Constable for Notts Police Chris Eyre said: “Like many other forces, we have no option but to consider the compulsory retirement of officers with 30 years’ service.”
“Other options including the medical retirement of officers and unsatisfactory performance procedures will be looked at as well but will be needed in addition to A19 to meet the scale of savings required to meet the funding challenge.”
“It is inevitable that our future policing model will operate with fewer police officers and staff.”
PC McDonald added: “I will miss it – it will be horrendous.”
“I’ll have no-one to boss about.”