PCC welcomes chiefâ€™s decision to end A19
West Midlands Police has suspended the use of regulation A19 after forcibly retiring nearly 600 officers in two years of its use.
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Bob Jones, who has also proposed recruiting 450 officers and 100 staff between 2014 and 2016, said he supported Chief Constable Chris Simsâ€™ decision to stop using the measure, pointing out that it fitted in well with his plans to resume recruitment
Mr Jones said: â€œWhile the decision to begin use of A19 was right at the time given the severe financial challenges the force faced â€“ following unfair government cuts that hit us much harder than anywhere else in the country â€“ we are at a point where we have been requiring officers to retire for over two years, and havenâ€™t recruited for over three years.
â€œNeither is good for long-term policing and crime prevention in our area.â€
CC Sims said: â€œThe opportunities set out in the budget consultation come as a result of the considerable work the force has carried out over the last three years, which have resulted in the achievement of challenging savings targets as well as the delivery of increasing levels of efficiency in policing our local communities.
â€œThe implementation of A19 was an essential tool to enable to the force to meet the demands of efficiency and that has been achieved. Iâ€™m delighted that experienced officers will be able to continue to serve and protect the people of the West Midlands.â€
The chief said he consulted with the PCCâ€™s office and the various police staff associations before making his decision.
Officers who were facing imminent compulsory retirement under A19 will be written to by the force explaining the decision.
Since the implementation of A19 in March 2011, 559 officers have retired from the force under this regulation.
In the same period, another 799 officers left the force for reasons including early retirement, leaving on medical grounds, for personal reasons, transferring to other forces and taking on new employment opportunities.
The forceâ€™s strength is currently running at 7,262 officers.
See also â€“ Chief constableâ€™s contract extended