HC Deb 14 December 1950 vol 482 cc1338-9
29. Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether in view of the shortage of manpower he will consider amending the retirement age for the Metropolitan Police so that those who do not wish to retire can be retained for lighter duties such as traffic regulation and clerical work.

Mr. Ede

A large proportion of the clerical work of the Metropolitan Police Force is done by civilian staff. Civilian school patrols relieve police officers of some of the less arduous forms of traffic control duty but other forms of traffic regulation call for high standards of mental and physical fitness. The majority of constables and sergeants, whom I assume the hon. Member has in mind, do not wish to continue to serve after the age of 55 but in all suitable cases the Commissioner of Police extends the age of compulsory retirement.

30. Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the shortage of manpower and of recruits for the special constabulary, he will consider abolishing 60 as the age of retirement and substituting tests of fitness and ability.

Mr. Ede

There is no rigid rule prescribing the age of retirement of a special constable. In some cases 55 is regarded as the normal age of retirement, as it is in the case of a regular police constable, but my information is that individual cases are considered on their merits.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider issuing a statement to make this clear, because I think there are many middle-aged people who would like to enlist but who are not at all certain what the limits are?

Mr. Ede

It is one thing to enlist a man who has never served before after he has attained the age of 55 and another thing to continue in employment a man who has already had experience in the service when he attains the age of 55 while in the service, but I am quite certain that every case will be considered by the respective police authorities on its merits.

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