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News Release: Issued on behalf of the Civil Nuclear Police Federation

23rd August 2016

Civil Nuclear Police Officers Seek Retirement at 60

The Civil Nuclear Police Federation will go to the High Court this Wednesday (24th August) to seek a ruling that its members can retire at the normal police retirement age of 60. The Civil Nuclear Police Federation which represents 1250 police officers will ask the High Court to determine whether or not its members are "members of a police service" for the purposes of Section 10 of the 2013 Public Services Pensions Act and therefore entitled to the same retirement age as the rest of the UK Police service.

The Judicial Review is being taken against the Civil Nuclear Police Authority and includes, as interested parties, the Secretary of State for Energy (now Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and HM Treasury.

If refused recognition as being members of a police service under the Public Service Pensions Act CNC officers could be forced to serve until 65 and eventually to 68 in line with Government policy for public service employees.

The Chief Executive of the Civil Nuclear Police Federation, Nigel Dennis, says:
"It is regrettable that we have been forced to take legal action. Under all other relevant legislation the CNC is defined as a police service and our officers are fully attested constables at law. The irony is that our Police Authority which we are obliged to cite as the defendant in the case, supports us, as does our Chief Constable and indirectly the College of Policing.

"As yet we have been unable to get a decision from Government to accept our professionally supported argument that it is almost physically impossible for a CNC officer to serve beyond 60. What seems not to be understood is that our members are fully trained authorised firearms officers. The high standards of physical fitness and weapon proficiency are mandatory throughout a career in the CNC and are increasingly difficult to maintain as officers age. This makes our Force unique within UK policing, as in other forces firearms officers can relinquish their weapon authorisation at any time and all UK officers can retire at 60, a decision made by the present Prime Minister Theresa May when Home Secretary in 2011.

"As a police force the CNC is the fittest body in the UK because of our role in protecting nuclear assets and our more recently acquired role of protecting the wider public against terrorist outrages. It makes no sense that we should be saddled through inappropriate legislation with a retirement age which we have little or no hope of reaching. Neither can I believe that the public will feel protected if eventually we have aggressively armed police officers in their mid-sixties being deployed against terrorists."