Met looks into police reserve of retired officers
The Met could create a police reserve of retired officers following a decision by the London Assembly.
Politicians recommended that the force looks at ways to retain the skills of retired officers without continuing to employ them full time. The idea is modelled on systems in the United States.
Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh gave evidence to the Assembly about such a system earlier this year.
He said: “The Americans have a very interesting thing called the red warrant card, which is for retired officers. You are still a warranted officer and you can still be called upon. It is a bit like Dad’s Army, if you want to call it that, but it does work.
“Once a year they do a refresher for about a week and they can be called upon any time as circumstances are now.
“They are then put on an hourly rate and they are brought back into the system. These are very easy things to do to retain a pool of very qualified officers.”
He said that the cost of training 650 new officers, to replace the number who left in the previous 12 months, is around £10 million.
Ken added: “They are not Tesco’s employees, no disrespect to Tesco’s. These are highly trained, very quickly. When you are talking about £10 million just going because they have left, can we afford to do that?” he said.
And now a new report says such a system could give the force "flexibility".
It said: “The Met requires a more flexible workforce. The deputy commissioner [Craig Mackey] has recently written to retired officers asking them to consider returning to the force.
“The deputy commissioner specifically linked this request to the stretch from the recent incidents at Westminster, London Bridge and Grenfell Tower.
“Guests highlighted the loss of experience when officers retire or resign, as well as the training costs already invested in recruits who then leave.
“Having a cadre of retained police officers would help alleviate pressure at times of great need and bring flexibility to the work force. It should not, however, become a substitute for proper recruitment of new officers.”