Thursday, May 12, 2011

UK Volunteer police bid 'a slap in the face' -- a new unpaid wage slavery emerges, adding to the unpaid intership situation

Hundreds of the country's most experienced police officers who were forced to retire under a legal loophole are being encouraged to return to Britain's second largest force as unpaid special constables.

Six retired officers, all with more than 30 years experience with West Midlands Police, said they had been sent letters asking them to return in similar roles but as volunteer special constables.

Martin Heard, who was forced to retire at the end of March after 32 years with the force, said he was shocked when he was asked to consider coming back to do the same job for free.

Two weeks after being forced to leave, he said, "I had a letter through the post from the police, my former employers, asking me if I'd consider coming back and doing the same role as a special constable, as a volunteer".

"I was shocked. On one hand they're saying they don't need me, and then they're asking me to come back in the same role," he said.

Mr Heard, whose work in the All Saints area of Wolverhampton earned him the "Copper's Copper" award last October, now plans to start work as a delivery driver for a catering company in his home town of Bromsgrove next week.

He said he was "devastated" at being forced to leave the force.

"It was a bit of a kick in the teeth really," he said.

Tony Fisher, who was forced to retire as a detective specialising in tackling robbery, said the cost-cutting move was a "slap in the face" after 33 years in the force. (read more)