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'Modest recruitment' for Sussex Police

Sussex Police force has recommended that compulsory retirement for officers after 30 years' service is withdrawn Photo: Sussex Police

A police force has recommended that compulsory retirement for officers after 30 years' service is withdrawn as it plans some "modest recruitment".

Sussex Police have asked the Sussex Police Authority to rescind Police Regulation A19, which allows for the compulsory retirement of officers after 30 years, and says 30 new officers will be selected from a recruitment pool of 98 candidates in early 2013.

Marion Fanthorpe, director of human resources at Sussex Police, said: "The SPA took the difficult decision 12 months ago to approve the recommendation made by the Force to use Police Regulation A19.

"It is with regret that we have had to lose a number of excellent officers. However, it has been crucial for us to be able to make the necessary level of savings needed by 2015, given the rates of natural turnover of police officers."

She said that savings had been made faster than expected, including higher levels of savings from areas other than direct post reductions.

She added: "Our overall estimate of numbers of officer posts that we will need to reduce has now been revised down from 500 to 400, and staff posts from 550 to 450.

"In light of this progress Sussex Police is proposing to the SPA that the Force is in a financial position to end the use of regulation A19 from end of September.

"As we now estimate the number for post reductions to be lower than originally estimated, this will allow for some modest recruitment of officers before 2015.

"We have estimated that we will need a cohort of 30 new officers in early 2013, who will be selected from the 98 candidates we have kept in our recruitment pool. They will be serving in our local communities from May next year.

"We still have a long way to go to find all the savings we need. However it is good that we are now in a position to take these two positive steps."

The report containing the proposal will be published on the SPA website on Thursday and members will make a decision on May 31.