It was reported today in the Metro newspaper that hundreds of experienced police officers forced to retire under a legal loophole are being asked to come back and work for free.

Officers with more than 30 years’ service with West Midlands Police were sent letters inviting them to return in similar roles but as volunteer special constables.

Martin Heard, who was forced to retire after 32 years with the force, said ‘On one hand they’re saying they don’t need me and then they’re asking me to come back in the same role two weeks later as an unpaid volunteer.’ He described receiving the letter as, ‘a kick in the teeth’.

More than 3,200 police officers could be made to retire as part of cost-cutting measures to save tens of millions of pounds.

The issue was raised in the Commons by Labour leader Ed Miliband, who accused David Cameron of ‘broken promises on policing’. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper added: ‘It’s bad for them, it’s bad for communities and it’s bad for crime.’

West Midlands Police said the letter was written by another retiring officer who was volunteering as a special and wanted to encourage his colleagues to follow suit.
A spokesman said: ‘Retiring officers can offer unique skills and experience which could benefit our communities.’

Well, to those officers forced into retirement and who wish to work as a volunteer for the benefit of their communities I say, “Bravo and I commend your community spirit.”

To those who still wish to earn an income to supplement their police pension I say, “Send us your CV.” Our company is made up almost entirely of former police officers whose training, soft skills and experience makes them very valuable in the commercial world.