England

Devon and Cornwall police officers fight retirement

Ninety former Devon and Cornwall Police officers are taking legal action against the force for being made to retire.

They are claiming age discrimination and a failure by the force to properly consult on the move.

The force has used a police service regulation, known as A19, to compel officers to retire when they have spent 30 years in the job.

Police chiefs need to cut budgets over the next four years by £47m.

'Mass retirement'

Under proposals approved in February, up to 600 officer posts and 500 civilian support staff posts face being cut.

The former officers are being supported by the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers.

Federation spokesman Nigel Rabbitts said: "We're asking the police authority to think again when they come around to next year's budget and that they should put a hold to these, pending the result of these claims.

"It [A19] was never designed for mass compulsory retirement, it was for individuals, and the authority hasn't shown these individuals clear reasons why they need to be retired.

"They've got a lot of skills and I think the constabulary will be a worse place for it.

"The thin blue line in Devon and Cornwall is getting thinner and thinner."

Devon and Cornwall Police and the Police Authority have refused to comment due to the ongoing legal proceedings.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites