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Federation highlights to MPs risk of 67 or 68 year old officers serving effectively and safely

The Civil Nuclear Police Federation has been back lobbying MPs at Parliament - including the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn MP - to keep the unfairness and risk of a members' rising retirement age firmly on the agenda.

Federation Chief Executive Nigel Dennis and CNPF Executive Member Gary Thwaite saw the Labour leader and cross party MPs Martin Whitfield, Ian Liddell-Grainger and Jamie Stone in a series of 'very positive' meetings over two days in the capital.

Currently CNC members do not get the same retirement privileges as officers from other Home Department forces, placing the defence of nuclear establishments and the force's ability to deploy officers as armed cover for other operations at serious risk.

It means officers will potentially have to carry five different weapons and 30kg of heavy equipment at the age of perhaps 67 or 68 - a risk too far - which is already eroding CNC Federation members' wellbeing and placing pressure on the recruitment and retention of officers, according to Nigel.

"The meetings we had, including the time with Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, particularly given that Brexit is so dominating at the moment, were extremely positive and they very much understand the situation we are in and what we need to achieve, from both a strategical policing level and from the welfare and wellbeing position of members," he said.

"Currently the Government is effectively saying that CNC police officers can do this job at the age of 67 or 68. But for firearms officers, serving effectively and safely beyond 60 is not compatible with the physically challenging standards set by the College of Policing.

"We are looking for some sensible flexibility in the Government's public sector pension policy."

The Federation has demonstrated that bringing members' retirement ages in line with other forces will save money and that members are willing to help by paying more into their pension pots.

"The next step in reality is that BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy) has asked the Constabulary to provide more financial detail and answer more additional questions, to the original Equality Impact Assessment," that they have already provided Nigel added. "They've asked for more information with relation to recruitment and retention from the force. It's still the intention from the BEIS minister (Richard Harrington MP) that he wants a meeting to go ahead over this with himself, along with ourselves, the Constabulary, and officials from the Cabinet Office the Treasury.

"It's BEIS officials' view that that we will get one opportunity to achieve our goal with the right people within Cabinet and Treasury to put our case forward.

"Richard Harrington has written a letter of comfort to Chief Secretary of the Treasury Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP saying that he believes in our rationale but that figures need to stack up behind it."

Nigel added: "The CNC's Equality impact Assessment and the BEIS assessment largely match but it's a case now of putting some flesh on the bones before this meeting with everyone so that when it eventually happens, all the stars will be aligning.

"The last thing we want to do is let an officer who's in his late 50s, early 60s be affected by this - it's an important investment for our members. It's an investment for their future.

"The question of our pension age is still very much on the agenda and it would s important to note we have cross party support in this matter and we are working with our professional advisors to get this message across."