Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
New Scotland Yard
8 April 2020
All former officers and staff of the Metropolitan Police Service will know first-hand that in our history we have faced many challenging situations and times. Now we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation as we respond to the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Whilst no one knows for how long we will have to respond to this situation, we do know that it will not be a swift resolution.
I am intensely aware that some former colleagues will be self-isolating due to age or vulnerability, or because former colleagues or members of their household are suffering from the symptoms of COVID-19. I hope that everyone will stay as safe and as healthy as possible throughout this national emergency, following the Government guidance, getting support where needed, and looking out for each other. Sadly, I know that some have already suffered, and others will be affected by this dreadful virus. I want to emphasise that the Met is not only here for London but we are also here for our former colleagues - and each and every one of you will always remain valued members of the Met Police Family.
I feel so proud of all the men and women in the Met who continue to work around the clock to keep people safe and deliver our core policing functions. Beyond COVID-19, you will be aware that bearing down on violent crime has been the Met’s number one priority, particularly where it affects young people under the age of 25. Despite the challenges, colleagues have continued to take violent criminals off the streets of London, arresting more than 800 people last week in a national anti-knife crime initiative. All this at a time when even more so than usual, people are watching to see how we respond and in particular how we explain and enforce the new COVID-19 Regulations. Met officers are out and about every day, talking to people, explaining, engaging and if needing to – enforcing. I’m very proud of the way they have been going about that, and I am grateful to the public in general for complying with these measures.
I have asked former colleagues who retired in the last five years to consider, if they are able, to re-join us as police officers, special constables or volunteers. The response has been inspiring with over 300 applications in the first week. Already we have ten former colleagues starting with us this week. Unfortunately, some former officers received letters with the wrong names, in an error I deeply regret and for which I am writing to all those colleagues affected to apologise.
I am not surprised by the number who want to come back and help us keep London safe at this time, but I am incredibly grateful to them. The desire to serve the public and support the Met runs deep in all police officers and staff – past and present, and no one will understand better the challenges faced by colleagues in the current climate. I also understand that not everyone will be able to help in this way. For some this will be because they simply are unable to and for others because it is not the right thing for them and their families at this time. Former colleagues can still help in other ways, in particular by amplifying the messages of the Met and the wider policing family to networks of family and friends, and also helping where able to support others in local communities.
We do not yet know how this emergency will develop over the coming weeks. But the Met is extremely resilient and we are providing an excellent service in these difficult times. I am determined that we continue to do that as far as we reasonably can. Former colleagues will know better than most that the Met spends all day, every day responding to different requirements and demands. We flex, we surge, but we are here. We will continue to deal with violent crime and all the other things that concern Londoners, and we will do our best to keep our public safe just as everyone who served in the Met did in their service to London.
To all NARPO colleagues – the current Met team and its Commissioner send you every good wish.
We are able to respond well to the current challenges because of the learning and skills built up over generations. Our values, history and the people who have gone before us, allow the Met to be resilient in the face of major incidents and extraordinary challenges. Thank you for your contribution.
Stay safe and, as far as you are able, look after your NARPO colleagues and their families.
The following News Release was issued by the Met Police on 27 March 2020
Call to retired officers to return to the Met
The Metropolitan Police Service is calling on retired officers to consider returning to serve London once more, as well as asking those nearing retirement to stay on.
The Commissioner, Cressida Dick, is writing to all former Met officers who retired within the last five years, to ask them to re-join the Met either in a paid or voluntary capacity. We are pleased that the Home Office have
confirmed today that they intend to make changes to the tax and pension arrangements, so that more officers are likely to respond to this call. We look forward to receiving full details and confirmation that the added costs
will be met by Government, so that we can communicate clearly to those affected.
The return and retention of officers with valuable skills and experience will help to increase the Met’s resilience and allow us to be even more flexible in providing the best service we can to London during this unprecedented
time, as the country – and the Capital – responds to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
At this time the Met is asking all officers who retired from the Met as police constables or sergeants within the last five years to re-join at those ranks, either on a full or part-time basis. Senior officers may also be able to re-join where they bring specific skills and experience.
Those officers who feel that returning or extending their service is not right for them at the moment, or who retired at the rank of inspector or above, are also being asked to consider being sworn in as members of our Special Constabulary and committing to at least 16 hours a month. Alternatively, they can volunteer in a number of other capacities.
Those wishing to apply to return will be asked to complete a simple online form to ensure the process is as fast as possible, supported by a serving MPS officer acting as a sponsor. The process has been streamlined to mean re-joiners can quickly return to the streets of London. In addition, the Commissioner is asking serving Met officers who are nearing 30 years’ pensionable service, to delay their retirement and stay as a member of the Met.
Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, said: “On behalf of London, and all the men and women of the Met, it is important that we take all reasonable steps to bolster our numbers.
“Demands on us will grow and vary over the coming weeks but I want people to know and see that the Met is here for them. We must maintain our operational resilience and continue to provide the best possible service
“Police officers overwhelmingly join ‘the job’ to help people and to make a difference, and that desire will be as strong today as it was the very first day they joined. I am hopeful that these exceptionally experienced and
knowledgeable former colleagues choose to come and be part of our team and support London at this extraordinary time - either as a re-employed police officer, special constable or a volunteer.”
Retired officers can apply today online through the following link:
Those can are eligible to apply include:
- If you have retired as an officer from the Met since 31 March 2015.
- If are working in the Met but have reached 30 years’ pensionable service.
- If you are working in the Met but are coming up to 30 years’ pensionable
Officers returning will go through a fast-track medical assessment and be re-vetted. Essential training will be delivered.
COVID 19 VOLUNTEERING/ RE-EMPLOYMENT
During this national Public Health Emergency, as a Branch we have received some requests for clarification of NARPO’s position on the use of retired Police officers, on a voluntary basis or potentially re-joining the Police Service in some capacity or as a Police officer.
There has been a suggestion in an article from former Commissioner Lord Stevens, and also from the current News Release from Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, that retired police officers could be used in some capacity.
NARPO members account for approximately two thirds of all retired Police officers. Our view is that we know that many retired Metropolitan police officers already perform voluntary work for Police Forces throughout the country and hope they will continue to do so.
We agree that retired police officers have certain skills and experience which could assist the Police in these extraordinary and difficult times. However, we must also be mindful that many of those retired officers will also fall into the vulnerable category because of their age or health.
For London Narpo, our members’ personal health and well-being is a primary concern.
We are also aware of many local non London Narpo Branches along with London Branch Luncheon Clubs Etc providing support to their vulnerable Members and the National Narpo Business Support and Communications is putting together a guide that these Branches or Luncheon Clubs can use.
Re-joining the Police
There are two ways to re-join the Police Service, either retiring and re-joining in a role which is materially different from that of a Police officer, or re-joining the Police as a Police Officer.
On the former there is information on the National Narpo website (cut and paste):
As Regulations stand, if someone wishes to re-join as a Police Officer, the Police pension would be abated i.e. the person would stop receiving it until they retire again from the Police.
The pension would still increase in line with CPI.
There is one Force, and there may be others, which has a scheme for re-joining the Police. However, there is no national guidance, as yet.
There are also some Forces who are already asking for volunteers
Members should seek guidance from The Metropolitan Police Service in the first instance and, or, their local Police Force, (if they reside a non commutable distance from London ), should they wish to find further information on volunteering or re-joining the Police service.
We feel it is for each retired officer to make their own decision whether they wish to volunteer or not, taking into account their own individual circumstances and we would fully support those who wish to volunteer to assist the Police service and help the vulnerable at this challenging time.
LONDON BRANCH NARPO