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Trump visit: Chiefs accused of procrastinating overnight payment decision


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Eleven chiefs have so far approved but others are said to be 'dragging their feet'.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


Police chiefs have been accused of stalling on the decision to pay allowances to officers providing mutual aid during US President Donald Trump’s visit.

Mr Trump is scheduled to have talks with Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street on July 13, and part of the responsibility for protecting him will fall on the epauletted shoulders of British Policing.

For the duration of his stay, officers from all forces will be required to provide mutual aid – but a loophole means many will not qualify for the Away from Home Overnight Allowance.

“To say this is a logistically challenging event is an understatement. In fact it is unprecedented in its policing demands,” Police Federation Operational Lead Simon Kempton said. “Huge numbers of police officers are taken away from their own forces, in turn leaving their colleagues behind and under additional pressure.”

Mr Kempton, who has been campaigning for overnight allowances for years - and even more so in recent months as Mr Trump’s visit looms - says the payment should instead be called ‘Held in Reserve Allowances.’

“The name of this payment itself is something of a misnomer. You do not – as you may expect – automatically get compensated if you are forced to be away from home because of a work deployment,” he said.

In order to qualify for the £50 payment an officer must be held in reserve and to be deemed to be ‘held in reserve’ and officer must:

  • Be away from their normal place of duty
  • Be required to stay in a ‘particular, specified place’ overnight, rather than being allowed home
  • By reason of the need be ready for immediate deployment

But the last criteria ‘be ready for immediate deployment’ has become a sticking point.

Officers not actively on stand-by do not necessarily qualify for the payment - and all three boxes must be ticked in order to be eligible.

Lancashire Chief Constable Andy Rhodes spoke out following discussions between the Police Federation and the National Police Chief’s Council and announced he will be paying towards officers’ overnight expenses.

Ten other chiefs have also approved the payment, including all four Welsh forces. Police Oracle understands the other six do not wish to announce their decision as yet.

Hampshire Police Federation Chairman John Apter disclosed Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney has decided not to pay the allowance for officers providing mutual aid – which he says he will challenge - and describes the situation as a “kick in the teeth which officers don’t deserve.”


Simon Kempton added his “thanks” to those who have so far agreed to pay the allowance, but is “disappointed” some are still “dragging their heels.”  

He said: “I accept that money is short. I know we have all had to tighten our belts and our purse-strings. But this is not the way to do it. If these payments are withheld the cost is more than fiscals.

“Officers are facing unprecedented demands with diminishing resources. Mutual aid and the need for national deployments are a natural consequence of the reduction in police force numbers. Every time it happens it has an impact on officers, and the public who then get a reduced service as a result.

“I urge the chiefs and the government to get their houses in order and confirm they will pay the allowance to all officers who are forced away from their family and friends because of this visit; and to commit to then re-examining the qualification criteria to appropriately reflect the sacrifice made by officers going forward.”

In response to the issue, NPCC Strategic Lead ACC Chris Shead, said: “There is an ongoing discussion about the future of the away from home allowance between the NPCC and the Police Federation. In current regulations, the away from home allowance is triggered if officers are deemed to be held on reserve, meaning they are available for immediate deployment.

“Each operation is unique and therefore the Gold Commander for each operation makes a determination as to whether the officers are held on reserve based on the individual circumstances.

“Any officers travelling to another force to support the Presidential Visit will be informed as to what allowances they will receive.”

After visiting the capital, it has been suggested the president may then visit at least one of his golf courses in Ayrshire and Aberdeenshire – which could cost Police Scotland £5 million.

The Federation is now taking legal advice around the rights of officers deployed on mutual aid, considering court action and seeks clarity on what restrictions can be lawfully placed on officers who are deployed, but are not deemed to qualify for the allowance.

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Can’t they just as Sir Tom what he meant when he introduced it?

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Surely it will be cheaper to pay officers the overnight allowance rather then overtime and mileage.

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I'd expect all the serials not so paid s 'held in reserve' to exercise their right to go and stay 2 hours away and get on the beer. 

Frankly the extinction of the mutual aid payment was a kick in the teeth but it was then promised the new allowance would compensate those put in the position discussed.

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