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Police Auxiliaries (Release)

Volume 415: debated on Thursday 8 November 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement about the revocation of the Police (Employment and Offences) Order, 1942; and the demobilisation of police auxiliaries.

Yes, Sir. I have now completed my review of the manpower position in the Metropolitan, city, county and borough police forces of England and Wales, and have come to the conclusion that it would not be justifiable to retain men or women in the service compulsorily beyond the end of this year. I have, therefore, decided to revoke the Police (Employment and Offences) Orders with effect from the 1st January, 1946. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland authorises me to say that he has decided to revoke the corresponding Scottish Orders with effect from the same date.From that date members of the service, whether regular policemen or auxiliaries, will be free to leave the Service if they so wish. It will, of course, still be necessary, under the provisions of the Police and Firemen (War Service) Acts, for regular policemen and policewomen who wish to retire on pension to obtain the consent of their chief officer of police, but I am confident that consent will not be unreasonably refused.I have also decided, after consultation with the Auxiliary Police Association, to recommend to police authorities and chief officers of police that no special releases should be granted to any particular class of auxiliary, in advance of the general date of release. Applications for individual releases will, however, be considered, as at present, in cases of serious personal hardship, or where a request is received from the Ministry of Labour and National Service for a man's release to industry in the national interest.The decision to revoke the "freezing"Orders does not mean that the services of auxiliaries will no longer be required. Recruitment for the regular police will not be completed for some considerable time, and during this period police authorities must continue to rely upon the auxiliaries to make up the shortage. Arrangements are, accordingly, being made to offer a temporary continuance of employment to suitable auxiliaries who are prepared to volunteer for a further period, and I hope that a sufficient number will take advantage of this opportunity. Details of the arrangements will be notified to police authorities and chief officers of police.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any statement to make about the release of men from the police war reserve.

:I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave to-day to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Balham and Tooting (Captain R. Adams).