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The Librarian

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About The Librarian

  • Rank
    Student

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  • Location
    West Midlands
  1. The Librarian

    Paying Specials

    Update on what happened with the West Midlands pilot bounty scheme operating on one OCU. At the end of the two year pilot project in March 2005, statistics showed it was a major success in increasing number of hours of duty performed, more regular attendance on a planned basis, better targeting and tasking and improved training attendance. However, like many things related to the specials, it was dependent on support of senior management and relative priorities. Following two changes in OCU commander and the District Officer who ran the scheme moving elsewhere, the payment ceased after three years.
  2. The Librarian

    Paying Specials

    Also, previously or expense forms were self certified, however every duty now has to be countersigned by another officer, ideally a reg supervisor. This is to prevent fraudulent hours being submitted in order to gain the bounty. Surely hours could be checked anyway from the fact that you should be 'booking' on and off duty with your communications centre - or dont they bother putting specials on the log?
  3. The Librarian

    Paying Specials

    The West Midlands pilot bounty scheme on one OCU has gone into its third year and a report has been sent to Police Authority (and eventually to HO) relating to its success in improved deployment etc (it was not a recruiting scheme)
  4. The Librarian

    Paying Specials

    The bounty or award is taxable. However, normal travel expenses should not be as they are reimbursement of actual expenditure necessarily incurred with no profit element
  5. The Librarian

    Paying Specials

    The European Working Time Directives have been applied to specials since their introduction - but have basically been unworkable as most specials have ignored their 'normal' employers requests for information about additional 'employment' on the basis of what they do with their spare time is no business of anyone but themselves. However, forces should be maintaining a record of your hours done as a special - usually the duty/expense forms does this - in case their is an issue.
  6. The Librarian

    Paying Specials

    We have been under this legislation ever since its introduction plus various other bits of employment legislation - health and safety, part-time employees regulations etc Where bounty schemes operate, the forces themselves confirm that specials remain volunteers and are not actually paid - to class them as paid employees opens all sorts of problems, National Insurance, Holiday pay, pensions etc etc.
  7. The Librarian

    Paying Specials

    Some police forces operate STEPs - and West Midlands were asked to do the same because how could they ask other employers to allow time for 'specials' if they were not prepared to do the same. It is part of recruiting extra numbers. The reason for going for the enhanced salary instead of time off for duties was because in many police jobs (and I know in other walks of life as well) you would have to put someone else in their place to do their job (com centre, custody suite, enquiry office etc). In STEPS you would be paying some one half their normal salary for doing their specials duties (ie time off from work matched by equivalent voluntary service). For ease of admin, WMP decided on a fixed amount irrespective of if you were getting £7000 a year or £70,000 a year. You are also giving up twice as much of your 'voluntary' time as someone on STEPS is doing. Specials as a whole benefit because you have people on the team who can actually provide in service training - for instance we had access to family protection, custody procedures, SOCO etc etc.
  8. The Librarian

    Paying Specials

    The force has an equal opportunity policy which applies to all staff and specials !!! Please contact Specials development team for advice as I am sure the scheme is supposed to be force wide.....
  9. The Librarian

    Paying Specials

    It started as H1/H2 pilot (and spread) when I raised the issue of the force setting an example in relation to STEPS (ie where employers gave employees time off from normal job to be a special provided they matched the number of hours with voluntary equivalent). Because of shifts and difficulty in some cases of having to put soemone into cover for a 'released' special, Head of Personnel at HQ agreed that an enhancement (think it is now around £1500 - taxable, NI etc etc) would be paid. Dont know exact criteria now, but it is around the same number of duties/training in a year as for the H2 bounty scheme. I expect OCU commander still has to approve that there would be a benefit in skills/awareness to police staff job and specials. If it affects you - contact Specials Development Team (Phil Tootill) at HQ and they may be able to clarify which OCUs are now invovled (If you are a special on one OCU and police staff elsewhere, I dont know who actually 'pays' the enhancement)
  10. The Librarian

    Paying Specials

    The current situation with the West Mids pilot is: The two year pilot on the H2 OCU finished in April this year, the evaluation and report has just been completed and is about to go to Police Authority and Home Office. All Police Staff in the force area who are also specials are eligible for an 'enhancement' of salary F1 OCU (central B'ham) are heavily into the SHOPCOP scheme (mainly the Bull Ring Centre) but this is being developed elsewhere in the force. G1/2 OCU (Wolverhampton) has a large number of local authority staff as specials under STEPS scheme and other OCUs have STEPS projects with hospitals, large hotels etc.
  11. The Librarian

    Paying Specials

    Don't forget that E+W pilots and the Scottish scheme are not payment by the hour - they are a fixed reward for a minimum number of duties - so the dedicated and enthusiastic ones are likely to do far more than perhaps they have to. In the West Mids pilot bounty, most of those who opted it have benefited by about £2 an hour before tax!!! The most you can be required to do at present is 26 duties a year (I know a lot of Forces tell you that you have to do more). The West Mids scheme - (and Scotland commitment has broadly followed this) - required a minimum of 45 duties in order to qualify for the bounty - 45 based on the idea of one duty a week but time off for holidays and allowing for sickness, extra work commitments etc. In West Mids scheme, prior to the bounty, each active special on the OCU averaged around 19 hours a month, now for those opting in to the bounty it is well over 30 hours. The numbers on roll doing over 20 hrs a month went up from 40% to 70%. However, the most important part of the West Mids bounty agreement was to require a months advance notice of when individual specials were coming on duty. Duty inspectors and com centre therefore knew that specials were definitely going to be available on specified evenings and were able to plan and task much more effectively. Specials therefore knew that if they turned up, there would be something positive to do, they were therefore better motivated and willing to commit, which in turn meant better tasking .... The specials are a volunteer service and we joined as such - so we need to stop seeing a bounty as a payment but simply as a 'thank you' for making a specific commitment to a specific time and day which allows effective and efficient use of our voluntary service. (above copied and slightly modified from my post in another thread about payment)
  12. The Librarian

    Any more news on payment

    Dont forget that E+W pilots and the Scottish scheme are not payment by the hour - they are a fixed reward for a minimum number of duties - so the dedicated and enthusiastic ones are still likely to do far more than perhaps they have to. In the West Mids pilot it roughly worked out at about £2 an hour before tax!!! The most you can be required to do at present is 26 duties a year (I know a lot of Forces tell you that you have to do more). The West Mids scheme - (and Scotland commitment has broadly followed this) - requires a minimum of 45 duties in order to qualify for the bounty - 45 based on the idea of one duty a week but time off for holidays and allowing for sickness, extra work commitments etc. In West Mids scheme, prior to the bounty, each active special averaged around 19 hours a month, now for those opting in it is well over 30 hours. The numbers on roll doing over 20 hrs a month went up from 40% to 70%. The most important part of the bounty agreement was to require advance notice of when specials were coming on duty. Duty inspectors and com centre therefore knew that specials were definately going to be available on specified evenings and were able to plan and task much more effectively. Specials therefore knew that if they turned up, there would be something positive to do, they were therefore better motivated and willing to commit, which in turn meant better tasking ....
  13. The Librarian

    PCSO Powers Discussion

    Could one of our legal experts advise in relation to the new powers of detention for up to half-hour of PCSOs that are available nationally (at discretion of local Chief Constables). The difference between powers to detain and powers to arrest Is a caution or specific form of words required to detain people for up to half an hour What offence is committed if someone resists detention Is there an offence of assaulting a PCSO Can a PCSO de-detain someone (ie a SC/PC can de-arrest) What happens if a PC doesnt arrive within half-hour Can a PCSO ask soemone to "accompany me to the police station"
  14. The Librarian

    A bit of History .....

    This sounds like a description of how special constables are recruited. We must all be lunatics doing what we do !
  15. The Librarian

    PCSO Uniform & Kit Discussion

    Just getting cynical in my old age. We start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and then someone turns the light out ! Money seems to be found to equip all the new agencies supporting the police - PCSOs, Highways Agencies 'Traffic' etc etc. - but those of us belonging to the voluntary organisation that has for years been giving our time freely seem to have to fight every step for equipement and uniform while being expected to do an ever increasing professional job. When I started, regulars could have zips on their trousers, specials could only have buttons...... then it was no car coats for specials, only long coats..... flat hats not helmets... Tunics not NATO jumpers...... and so it has gone on.