Shadow Police Minister highlights "clear security risk" of 68-year-old Armed Police Officers
"It's clearly a security risk to be asking 67, 68-year old officers to be carrying guns..."
That's the message from Shadow Police Minister Louise Haigh following a meeting with the Civil Nuclear Police Federation.
Louise caught up with Chairman Mark Nelson (pictured left) and Chief Executive Nigel Dennis in Westminster on Thursday 7 September, where she heard that The Government are currently insisting our members will have to retire at a state pension age.
We pointed out how The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) won't listen to reasoned arguments, science or evidence as to why this is plainly ridiculous and that CNC officers should be allowed to retire at 60 - the same age as their Home Office colleagues.
After the meeting, Louise - a former Special Constable - said: "We've been meeting with the Police Federation particularly about their pension age and the fact that it's not aligned with the Home Office police forces.
"It's the first time I've met with them so we discussed general issues within policing, but that's the main issue they wanted me to take away and I'll certainly be raising it with the BEIS Minister.
Does it surprise her that the Government are insisting that 67 or 68 plus year old could be carrying guns on our streets?
"Not just a gun," responded Louse. "But 30kg worth of kit. It's clearly a security risk to be asking 67, 68 year old officers to be carrying guns and carrying that weight around with them, and obviously it needs aligning with the Home Office pension age."
Our members have to carry more than of 30kg of weight when they work - when you consider their firearms and associated equipment - and they are rightly having to maintain a high level of fitness to stay in their important roles.
For the majority of officers it will frankly not be possible to sustain this beyond the age of 60, and science has proved that
What are Louise's plans following the meeting?
She added: "I'll be writing to the BEIS Minister and I'll also be raising it in Parliament, liaising with Parliamentarians that represent those civil nuclear sites as well, and launching a Parliamentary campaign."
Police officers around the country work hard doing many different roles but with the same level of commitment and professionalism - and it is not right that some should be rewarded less favourably.