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Brexit Limbo Will Not Stop Our Police Pension Push

The security of the UK population should be the top of every Government's agenda.

With the current climate we continue to find ourselves in as a nation - with a severe terrorism threat - the responsibility of the armed protection of our nuclear assets in this country is huge. And that's just what our members do - as well as support colleagues in Home Office forces when there is an incident as we saw last year.

But how can you capably protect these assets and have a strategic armed reserve coming from an ageing population of firearms officers, aged 67 or 68?

That is ridiculous. That is a risk too far.

We are still striving to get the retirement age of our members in line with the rest of policing in the country. It's a matter of public security.

Sadly, it seems that progress on the issue is being held in a Brexit limbo.

It's still in the hands of the BEIS (Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and the Minister there Richard Harrington MP and we're still trying to secure a meeting with them and all the parties involved; The Cabinet Office, The Treasury and the Civil Nuclear Police Authority.

We had hoped that this would have been in November, but unless it's to do with Brexit, it seems there's a mountain to climb at the moment.

Life shouldn't stop because of Brexit.

Lots of things must still go ahead and we can't be completely stalled in what we're trying to achieve. It would help enormously if the Minister would do as he said when he stood up in the House of Commons, in relation to publishing the BEIS commissioned Human Rights and Equality Impact Assessment. That examines whether it's appropriate for our members to continue until the normal pension age of 67, 68.

I'm at a loss as to why they are unable to publish that document and they haven't told us why it's not been published. It was going to be read by the Minister over the summer Parliament recess, but here we are, Parliament has resumed and it still hasn't been published despite us asking the question numerous times.

We are hoping the Human Rights Equality Impact Assessment which was carried out by the employers, the Civil Nuclear Police Authority and CNC pretty much mirrors what we already know - that the science behind it shows our colleagues will not achieve the 67, 68 normal retirement age in the roles they are contracted to do.

I'm sure we could make progress if we could just get a date in the diary with everyone.

The mission that you, as members, are being asked to do by the Government, isn't sustainable with an ageing workforce. It can't be done at 67 or 68.

The current Chief Constable has said that, and continues to say that. The Chief Constable of the CNC is on record as clearly stating that the CNC will become unsustainable if the Government continues to pursue this avenue - then when are they going to sit up and wake up and take some responsible action.

We have arranged meeting MPs who have nuclear establishments in their constituencies in the first week of December. We are going to continue to get the message across that a retirement age for our members of 67 or 68 is just not feasible.

We are going to make sure the issue is at the top of the new Chief Constable's in-tray, too. Whoever is appointed we want to ensure that it will be their number one priority.

Just like it should be a priority for the Government.