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Special Constables

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 October 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in view of the fact that the strength of the Metropolitan Special Constabulary is about 30 per cent. of establishment, he will consider raising the upper age limit for volunteers from 50 to 55 or 60 years.

Although exceptionally suitable candidates may be and have been accepted up to ages of 52 or 53, I am advised that the nature of Special Constabulary duty renders undesirable any general raising of the normal age limit of 50 for entry to the force.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the heavy demands which will be made for the Services and Civil Defence following the recent decision to expand these Services which was announced after the publication of the reports of the various committees set up to consider post-war police policy, he will consider advising chief constables to disregard whenever possible the stringent age limits recommended in these reports.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the policy of his Department with regard to the recruitment age of special constables.

The recruiting age of special constables is primarily a matter for the discretion of individual chief officers of police, but I have advised them that, since the younger men should be encouraged to join the Volunteer and Auxiliary Reserves of the Armed Forces, men under 30 should not be accepted as Special Constables. The Police Post-War Committee recommended that candidates should not be accepted if they were over 50 but I have not advised chief officers of police to adopt any rigid upper age limit and, while recruits are normally accepted up to the age of 50, it is open to chief officers of police to accept suitable candidates above that age.