HC Deb 01 February 1996 vol 270 c870W
Mr. Gordon Prentice

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what benefits and payments are available to special constables. [12601]

Mr. Maclean

Special constables are unpaid volunteers, but they are eligible to receive a number of benefits. Under the Special Constables Regulations 1965, they may be reimbursed out-of-pocket expenses or receive payment of an allowance in lieu of reimbursement. Chief officers choosing to pay an allowance may draw on Home Office guidance about allowances in respect of footwear, tights and stockings, travel and refreshment.

Regulations entitle specials to sick pay in respect of injury suffered—or illness contracted—while on duty, and police authorities have discretion to make ex gratia payments to specials who do not qualify for sick pay under the regulations.

In addition, regulations give police authorities discretion to pay a small bounty to special constables who qualify under the criteria—which relate to a minimum commitment of hours in a defined six-month period.

We set up a working group on the special constabulary last year under Home Office chairmanship. We expect it to make a number of recommendations in March about the expenses and allowances that special constables should receive.

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