Leicestershire police admit job lay-off mistake

Leicestershire Police has admitted making mistakes in the handling of a scheme designed to retain its most experienced officers.

The comment comes after Sgt Terry Gee, who has served for 38 years, was sent a 28-day notice without warning.

He was part of the force's "Thirty-plus" initiative that allowed officers to draw their pension and keep working.

The force said it had failed to carry out an annual review with officers, but insisted the move is legal.

Sensitive issue

It is now reviewing which of the 29 staff in the Thirty-Plus scheme, which has been running since 2002, will lose their jobs.

Human resources director Allison Naylor said: "We would like to keep them but we cannot afford to - is the bottom line.

"This is the only group of officers we can release because of the way the employment is constructed.

"It is difficult and we are trying to deal with the issue sensitively."

Sgt Gee said: "After doing 38 years with the police force as a front line operational officer, to be given a letter saying you have 28 days notice, it was a horrific experience.

"It said to me: the police force don't care what you have done, we don't care how long you have served with them. Because of money we are getting rid out you.

"It was like getting the sack - it was a smack in the face."

The force has said it needs to make savings of £15m in the financial year 2011-12.

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