Central Scotland officers face 'forced retirement'

Image caption,
Central Scotland Police may force some officers with more than 30 years service to retire

Redundancies at Central Scotland Police are "unavoidable" because of deep cuts to the force's budget, a senior officer has said.

A report by the depute chief constable shows the force is also considering the compulsory redundancy of long-serving police officers to save £11.6m.

Plans have been drawn up for the potential loss of 80 civilian posts and 48 police officers.

The joint police board is meeting in Alloa to consider the report.

The board members will consider the use of Regulation A19 - a pensions rule that affects those with 30 years service or more.

Budget reductions

Under the act, such officers can be "required to retire" if their retention would "not be in the general interests of efficiency".

The measure has been little used in the past and is likely to be strongly resisted by unions representing police officers.

But the report said the force may have to consider using compulsory redundancies for the first time since 1996.

Depute Chief Constable Iain Macleod said: "An invitation to staff to consider an offer of voluntary redundancy or early retirement has seen a positive response.

"However, the numbers who have expressed an interest in the offer are insufficient to meet the extent of projected budget reductions, making limited compulsory redundancies almost inevitable if the board is to reduce expenditure by even the lowest percentage indicated by the Scottish government."

A recent spending review prepared by Chief Constable Kevin Smith also showed that he is prepared to use Regulation A19 if necessary.

The document, published in August, outlined two scenarios - one with a 23% cut in officer numbers if the regulation can be used, and a reduction of 13% if it cannot.

But unions have expressed fears its use would lead to a loss of experience and leadership as the officers with the longest service are laid off.

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