Federation officials Nigel Dennis and Mark Nelson met Energy Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe on last Thursday (3rd November) to make the case for retirement at 60 for CNC officers. Backing up the Federation arguments was well articulated support from Tim Jackson QPM from the England & Wales Superintendents Association, Philip Bishop for the CNC Branch of the Superintendents Association and Simon Chesterman QPM CNC Deputy Chief Constable also wearing his hat as Firearms Lead for the National Police Chiefs Council.
The Minister listened attentively to the collective professional advice and took the time to watch the Federation's video which briefly but comprehensively conveys the physical and weapon dexterity challenge routinely met by CNC operational officers in protecting the nation's civil nuclear assets.
The Minister clearly understands the argument for retirement at 60 and how the exclusion of the CNC from exemption in the 2013 Public Sector Pensions Act has to be seen as an unfortunate drafting error with unintended consequences. Nevertheless we can also see that rectifying the anomaly which is preventing our officers sharing the same retirement age as the rest of the UK police service in line with the then Home Secretary, Theresa May's announcement in 2011 is legislatively and, to some extent, financially problematic. However, in our view, where there is political will there is a way. The public and Parliament will find the idea of heavily armed officers in their late 60s protecting civil nuclear power stations and in the forefront of engaging with armed terrorists as part of the UK's surge capability utterly bizarre.
We are grateful for the opportunity to meet the Minister and now await the result of her consideration of the issues.
Chairman - Mr. Mark Nelson
Chief Exec. - Mr. Nigel Dennis