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Concern over plans that could see retired officers recalled over misconduct allegations

Proposals that could see retired officers being recalled to face misconduct proceedings more than 12 months after they have left the service are of great concern to the Police Federation of England and Wales, according to its national vice chairman.

Calum Macleod was responding to a number of recommendations put forward by shadow home secretary Andy Burnham in the wake of the Hillsborough inquiry including a plan that would see no time limit being put on when a retired officer could be investigated for misconduct.

"Misconduct is, essentially, an internal employment issue. The purpose of which is to hold officers to account and in the most serious of cases, and if appropriate, prevent them from working within the organisation. In the most serious of cases, this person will be placed on a disapproved register, to ensure they cannot work again within any law enforcement agency. This is a recommendation that the Federation has previously, and still, supports," said Calum.

"Clearly, if any individual is perceived to have committed a criminal act, this would be dealt with appropriately, and there rightly is no time limit on such action.

"The Federation has supported the current Government proposal to allow gross misconduct proceedings to be taken against an individual in the 12-month period after they have left the service. The reason for this is to ensure that if the misconduct is proven, the individuals can be prevented from working within law enforcement agencies in the future.

"The proposal to recall an individual to face gross misconduct proceedings, including pension forfeiture, more than 12 months after they have left the service is of serious concern to us."

The vice chairman has also commented on a proposal by Mr Burnham that pensions should be cut for officers found guilty of misconduct.

Calum explained: "Not forgetting that pensions are not a luxury given to people who stop working so much as they are deferred pay, there are already robust rules concerning pensions, their protection and forfeits, and we do not believe there is any need to make changes to this. "

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