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I am doing some research about the payment of Specials for a presentation I am giving in the near future. More info about that when the time is right wink.gif

But for now I need to get an understanding of what schemes are being proposed or trialled. I have ploughed through existing payment threads, from which I have found out the following:

Police forces definitely running trial schemes

  • Cumbria
  • West Midlands
  • Humberside
  • Grampian
  • Tayside

Of these, most seem to be looking at a 180 hour-per-year commitment for which they pay an annual "bounty" of £1,000.

Police forces which might be running schemes

  • Surrey
  • TVP
  • South Wales Police

And of these, the only info I have is that SWP might be running a scheme paying an annual bounty linked to length of service and capped at £2,500 per officer.

Other information

Looks like the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) are paying their reservists (NI equivalent of Special Constables) at the rate of about £9 per duty hour plus £41 per month.

So... can you help me? I don't want this to be another discussion thread, I am just trying to gather correct information here. So if you have anything about the payment trials which you know to be correct then please answer in this thread so I can update my information.

If you do want to discuss pros and cons of payment (who doesn't!) then this thread is an excellent place to go.

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THAMES VALLEY have a trial - of sorts!

TVP wanted to do a trial, with funding provided by the Force, but the Home Office had to approve it. Of course with Home Office incompetence that took over a year. [TVP kept asking the HO whether they had approved the trial scheme and the HO kept on saying - any time now - be patient. Then TVP phoned the HO and said OK whats happening. The HO said yes that has been approved, the papers will be in the post. TVP announced the scheme set a schedule - but the HO papers didnt turn up. SO TVP went back the the HO and said - hey where are the papers? THe HO said - oh thats not approved yet! TVP said - but you said it was - the HO reply was opps sorry we were thinking about somethign else when you asked.

Anyway - eventually the HO managed to say yes. It only took a year - which is really fast for the HO - lightning speed for anything to do with Specials.

Have I got in in for the HO - well not really - I just speak as I find. About five years ago I met two HO officials - they were late. When they arrived they said sorry we are late - but what do you care, I suppose you are on overtime now! IT took 3 hours to educate and persuade Home Office Spcial Conbstabulary staff that Specials were not paid!!!!!!

TVP BOUNTY SCHEME

By the time the HO introduced it it was very very late. Egg on faces all the way around. Introduction was rushed through with indecent haste, so we have a scheme that is doomed to failure and will alientate all Specials. A few of the rules are:

The bounty is £950 - couldn't be £1,000 because that was what regulars were getting for living in a high cost area (to stop them defecting to the Met).

The trial is on one Area Thames Forest

The bounty will be paid if it is claimed

TVP finance will pay the bounty subtracting standard rate tax.

Anyone not on standard rate tax will have to sort their individual case out with the tax office. If that mans going to self assessment - tough.

The bounty will be considered if Specials are receiving any benefits. ie it will be treated as income and their benefit may be reduced - because they have 'earned the income of £950"

If a Special decided NOT to claim the bounty - their benefits will still be affected , because the government have decreed that the "income of £950" was available to them whether or not they bothered to claim it - so their benefits will be reduced accordingly

If a Special does not meet the conditions making them elligible for the bounty - ie attending training, performing community police duties etc they don't get it. Nobody has established what happens to that Special, it is expected that the benefits agency will say you are a Specials - you got or had the chance of getting £950 bounty, so we are reducing your benefit. It seems as though it will be left to each individual Special to battle the beurocracy of the benfits system and to prove that they didnt get the bounty and were not entitled to claim it, so there benefits are unaffected.

At the moment Specials get £30 a year boot allowance if they do their minimum 208 hours duty a year. That is tax free! Whoopie - who can get a pair of boots for £30, but good on TVP for pressing for that to be tax free.

UNFORTUNATELY - the tax office have decreed that if Specials get the bounty, the bounty will be taxable and so will any other benefits including the boot allowance!

I could go on - but the TVP system is a joke (a bad joke) imposed on Specials, partly due to incompetence at the Home Office and partly due to a serious lack of invetigation and planning by TVP.

I would be interested to hear what other Forces are doing and if they are or will fall into the tax problems.

PS we proposed that instead of bounties - the government could give Specials a 'discount' on their income tax rate. EG 2% below the level they should be, that mmeans that specials bounty will be comensurate with the income lost by being a specials. The higher your pay the more you get out of it, but it would be in proportion to your salary! There are a few problems with that but - the government could impose that by the first of next month if they wanted to!

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:sad: W. Yorks specials have just been informed - to squash rumours circulating to the contrary - that there are NO plans to introduce payment of specials in the near future.

The circular e-mail wasn't clear what, if any, deliberation had gone on, but frew attention to the difficulties of effecting proper payment.

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I got this information last night at a Training Workshop.

Apparently it is from information gleaned from the Special Constables Conference that took place a few weeks ago. Humberside have reported that the payment of Specials is "unworkable". I don't know anymore than that......

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Grampian Specials get £1000 after gaining 45 points, you get a point for every four hours you are on duty.

Some of these hours have to consist of training, community/ anti-social behaviour related tasks and various other bits. :whistle:

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Humberside's allowance is £1500 (for a minimum of an average 4 hours per week)- and they also offer a reduction in council tax for those living in and serving in the Hull area, 50% for joint occupants and 75 % for people living on their own.

Hope this helps x

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Grampian Specials get £1000 after gaining 45 points, you get a point for every four hours you are on duty.

Some of these hours have to consist of training, community/ anti-social behaviour related tasks and various other bits. :whistle:

332947[/snapback]

Not quite sure where you got the "points" idea from, but to clarify matters in the windy North East of Scotland, here we go:

1. Grampian's trial recognition award is being run for 1 year, in which each participating officer must complete the minimum requirements.

2. The award is based on the concept of "duties" with each duty being no less than Four hours in duration.

3. Each officer must complete 45 duties.

4. Duties are further broken down into the following:

a) 30 pre planned duties tackling local policing issues. (These also include regular policing duties alongside regular officers).

b) 5 Duties of training.

c) 10 duties relating to any other policing deployment (eg. Football, public events, major exercises etc).

5. As duties are credited in 4 hour blocks there is no allowance for half duties. For example when an officer works, say 6 hours. However if an officer works 8 hours then 2 duties will be allocated. A maximum of 2 duties only per shift.

6. The only exception for the 4 hour duty rule is whereby an officer is cited to attend court. Regardless of the time they spend at court they will be credited at least one duty.

7. All participating officers must be fully certified and up to date with Officer Safety Training.

8. All participating specials must also attain a satisfactory level of performance throughout the trial period. This will be monitored by use of the specials Passport which records all operational and training duties and is signed by a supervisory regular officer.

9. Payment for the award will be a figure of around £1,000 net of tax.

Trust this clarifies the position. Any queries just holler.

Semper Fi

Gazza

Edited by Gazza

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The West Midlands scheme on one OCU has continued into a second year because it clearly met its objectives as to advance notifcation of duites and targeted deployment.

The only problem was that the annual payment should have been made 'less tax' but finance dept forgot to deduct it - hence what should have been quite administratively straightforward became complicated as to how to reclaim the tax element or how it should be declared !

A review meeting of the forces involved in pilot schemes also showed great variations in 'professional' advice they had been given as to whether bounty schemes meant specials were or were not therefore 'employees', (and therefore what employment rights and legislation applied).

Advice concerning what other expenses (eg travel) were and were not taxable and what was claimable as tax deductable also varied considerably - complicated further by questions as to whether only the expenses for the specific duites qualifying for payment were taxable and what the position was for anything over and above which was therefore purely voluntary.

When schemes were being set up there was an "understanding" that the HO and Inland Revenue would have produced some clear guidelines early this year on the above issues - !!!!!!!!!!!!!! - until this happens I doubt that many forces will want to get involved and the various pilots will possibly fade away because what could be very simple to operate will disappear in an administrative nightmare !

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At the moment Specials get £30 a year boot allowance if they do their minimum 208 hours duty a year. That is tax free! Whoopie - who can get a pair of boots for £30, but good on TVP for pressing for that to be tax free.

If you buy a pair every 2 years (like most people do) £60 goes about the right distance!

PS we proposed that instead of bounties - the government could give Specials a 'discount' on their income tax rate.

Even simpler - give a reduction in their council tax! Less beaurocracy.

Hull are doing it .............

"Special constables in Hull could be set for a new tax-break in a bid to boost recruitment. City council leaders have agreed in principle to introduce a 50 per cent council tax discount for the volunteer police officers in the city.A 75 per cent discount has also been proposed for city residents who are members of the volunteer reserve forces.If confirmed, eligible special constables can look forward to saving between £300 and £410 a year.The move has been made possible under new discretionary powers handed to local councils." Source Hull Daily Mail.

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Specials in Central Scotland get a £60 boot allowance but we give that up for it to go directly to our Social and Welfare committee who look after us :whistle:. You can of course ask for it to be paid to you if you wish though ;)

The bosses are looking closely at how Grmpian and Tayside's payment schemes are going and will feed back to us regarding likliehood of implementation into our force once their trials are up in (I think) February,

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...but as I said we dont REALLY 'get' it as it goes to our special constables social welfare and consultative committee - basically a force-wide sounding board for any problems or issues effecting the special constabulary, plus they organise nights out, bowling, things like that and tickets are cheap because the committee subsidise it using the money from our boot allowance.

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