The Association has responded to comments made by the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police about the need to bring the Regulation A19 case to the Court of Appeal.
National Secretary Chief Superintendent Tim Jackson said:
“We are a staff association. Our role is to support and represent our members’ interests.
“We believe in constructive conversation and relationships built on mutual respect and honesty. We believed, and were advised, that our members were subject to unlawful and discriminatory action. Our members told us they did not want to be forced to retire when they were able, and willing, to continue serving the public.
“We tried to prevent this from happening by speaking to forces who intended to use A19 to dissuade them from doing so. This was unsuccessful, and our members have suffered the consequences; not just financially, but also in terms of their emotional health and wellbeing.
“Challenging the conduct of certain forces through the court system has been a very significant step for us. It is not one that was taken lightly during any part of the process. We are not, by nature, a litigious organisation and taking legal action was very much a last resort for us. However, we could not stand by and see our members treated in a way which we considered to be both unlawful and discriminatory.
“Regulation A19 had not been used in this way previously, and this was a process which has impacted significantly on people’s livelihoods and wellbeing. There was also a question over the financial necessity of using such a blunt tool to end the careers of experienced and highly capable police officers. Therefore we believe it was both right and necessary for it to be legally tested.
“It is also worth noting that in granting us leave to appeal the decision of the Employment Appeals Tribunal, the Right Honourable Dame Janet Smith stated:
“This is a matter of real importance and I might have granted permission to appeal on that basis alone. However, I am of the view that some of the issues are quite finely balanced and merit consideration by the Court of Appeal.” “