Tuesday 29 June 2010

Understanding the future of Police Pensions. N.A.R.P.O. update & views


As a result of numerous enquiries at Head Office following the Chancellors Emergency Budget last week I thought it prudent to update you on our current understanding of the implications of the budget on Police Pension increases.
Police Pensions are increased under the provisions of the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971 and Section 59 of the Social Security Pensions Act 1975. The latter provides for public service pensions to be up-rated at the same time and by the same percentage as the increase in the additional pension provided under the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS), which has traditionally been based on the September to September increase in the Retail Price Index (RPI).
In the Emergency Budget the Chancellor announced that the Government will use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the indexation of benefits and tax credits from April 2011, but more significantly for police pensioners, the Chancellor also announced that the change would also apply to public service pensions through the statutory link to the indexation of the Second State Pension (which replaced SERPS in 2002).

What does this mean to police pensions?

In our view this means that in April 2011 police pensions will increase by the same percentage as the RPI increase from September 2009 to September 2010.
Thereafter the indication from this budget is that police pensions will increase annually in April by the same percentage as the CPI increase from September to September.
This in real terms reduces the value of police pension increases as the RPI is generally higher than the CPI and when calculated over a period of over 20 years would amount to a significant amount of money.
We are currently discussing with other public sector pensioner organisations the full implications of the emergency budget and are considering a response and any future course of action we may consider taking, bearing in mind the assurances given in April 2010 by all three major political parties, that there were no plans to change the current index-linking of pensions in payment.

The Garden Party

Hi Alan
Firstly can I offer my congratulations to you, your Committee, Durham Executive, volunteers and all who gave up their time to make the reunion so memorable. Mine was a flying visit from Cyprus as you know, but I'm so glad I made it. To see and chat to so many people from the past was great. Shame the weather was inclement but it didn't spoil the day. On a bit of a downside Alan I was somewhat disappointed that so many of our peers from the early sixties to the late nineties didn't turn up. Given the success of your occasion, is there anything you and your colleagues think can be done to encourage their attendance next time around - I'm sure it was their loss and not ours. Brilliant day and thanks to all those who put in the effort to make it a success. Your efforts in updating the 'blog' with all the photos etc must take you well into the night !! I'm still commiserating with the Military community here over our PATHETIC performances in South Africa - my annual pension doesn't even equate to one weeks wages for most of them. Prima Donnas - go home in shame !! You and your colleagues efforts would eclipse theirs. Well done all.

Kind regards,
Robin & Margaret Dodd

Thanks very much Robin and Margaret - delighted you made such a Herculean effort to fly across to meet old friends. Perhaps those who 'couldn't be bothered' were the ones who missed out? Next year maybe we may get a lot more support? The Garden Party I mean not our " Prima Donnas"... I believe that England are to get a new dual management team imported from China - names? "We Won Once" and " How Long Since". I'll never watch them again - after all they didn't come to see me when I was bad.....!

Alan Watson

Further praise for the Garden Party

Dear Alan

Many thanks to you and all involved in the organisation of the Party which Maureen and I thoroughly enjoyed. It was so good to re-visit the familiar Headquarters and to meet the serving officers and old friends and colleagues.
What a good idea to wear our name tags to remind us of who we are and who "what's ' is/'er name is!
Three hours passed far too quickly. The choir and the band were excellent. I have many happy memories of the band in the '70s when I marched in front at the many public performances of those years. Not having had time due to gossiping so much ( I think we occupied the same bit of floor all afternoon) to see much of the exhibits or even buy a raffle ticket....

yours sincerely,

Maureen and Dave (Cromarty (Senior))

WE ACKNOWLEDGE A FURTHER DOZEN SIMILAR LETTERS OF APPRECIATION (also many telephone messages) RECEIVED Thank you one and all for making it such a great day.

Make a note in your diary for our N.A.R.P.O. Re-Union Luncheon on Sunday, 26th September, 2010. Full details in your copy of the Durham Peeler - or contact Barry & Angie Crawford Tel. No. 0191 5180996

Thoughts on the Spectacularly Successful Garden Party 13th June, 2010

This was the showcase of the new relationship between Durham Constabulary and its many retired employees both police and support staff. We had retired officers and staff from as far afield as Cyprus, Scotland, Gloucester, Oxford (Retired Chief Constable George Hedges - a keen supporter of the Force and in particular, our Durham Branch N.A.R.P.O) and many others too many to mention. Remember this is just a new beginning. Look out for even greater things.

Thanks must be given for the extensive hard work and close cooperation between leading members of the Durham N.A.R.P.O. Committee and Durham Constabulary's Planning Team/ Corporate Communications Officers. The 'coming together' was made possible by the dynamic organisational skills afforded through Chief Constable Jon Stoddart and Deputy Chief Constable Mike Barton- who pledged themselves to show that we truly are a 'family Force' once again. The holistic exercise was a demonstration of what can be achieved if all parties are really committed.

' Well done everyone' on behalf of all retired members and serving officers (both on and off duty) who were privileged to share in such a wonderful day. With grateful thanks to all actively involved in making the day so memorable.

Alan S. Watson Chairman Durham Branch N.A.R.P.O.

Thursday 24 June 2010

Some photo's from the Garden Party

Click on any of the images shown below to go to the album. If you have any photo's from the day please can you help us out and send us them to : durhamnarpo@gmail.com

Update on Jeff Miller

We told you in May that retired PC 431 Jeff Miller had been rushed to Newcastle General hospital after suffering brain hemorrhage. (http://durhamnarpo.blogspot.com/2010/05/hospital-visits-jeff-miller.html)
We're pleased to report that Jeff has been discharged from hospital and is now recovering at home under the watchfull eye of his wife Eunice. They would welcome a call or visit to help Jeff along with his rehabilitation. If you want to get a hold of Jeff's number or address email durhamnarpo@gmail.com and we will get back to you with the details

Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers..

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him..
When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full.
The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed..

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else---the small stuff.
'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you..
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children.
Spend time with your parents.
Visit with grandparents.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your spouse out to dinner.
There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.
Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter.
Set your priorities.
The rest is just sand.
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.
The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'
The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend. (Next NARPO meeting - 12th July !!)
Please share this with someone you care about. WE JUST DID!

Death of a retired Police Officer - PC 480 Robert Bristowe Bennett

It is with regret that we announce the death of ex PC 480 Robert Bristowe Bennett of Wigtownshire, Scotland. Mr Bennett died on the 10th May 2010 aged 89 years.
Ex PC Bennett retired from Sunderland in 1973 following 26 years service. He had previously served at Washington, Sedgefield, Jarrow, Seaham and Castletown.

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Death of Retired NARPO member (Gateshead Branch)

I have been informed by Bill Hardman (ex Durham police officer in the mid 1960s) of the  the death of his father, Colin Bowes Hardman who died on 31st May, 2010 aged 85 years.

Colin Hardman was a Chief Inspector in Gateshead Borough, transferring to Durham Conmstabulary in 1968 with the incorporation of the Borough Forces  and serving thereafter as Superintendent at Whickham. In 1974, he became a Northumbrian officer and served as Chief Superintendent at South Shields.

For information only: William(Bill) Hardman  joined Durham Constabulary in 1965 , transferring on promotion to Sergeant in 1973 to Hertfordshire. He went on to retire as Superintendent in 1995

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Garden Party - a 'big' success...

The Garden Party took place on Sunday 13th June, as a result of the hard work put in by members of Durham NARPO's committee (shown above)  and was a resounding success.
After opening addresses by Chief Constable Jon Stoddart and NARPO Chairman, Alan Watson, the guests were treated to entertainment from the Constabulary choir & band, together with displays from the dog section, firearms unit and motorcycle section. There were many static displays to look at and some excellent food. A great afternoon's entertainment with a real 'family' feel to it, giving everybody the chance to  'catch up' with old friends and colleagues.
All the current Durham Executive, Heads of departments and members of the Police Committee,  were in attendance together with retired Chief Constable George Hedges, who returned 'home' from Oxford to Durham for the day....
 Ray Basham made the long journey from Scotland, Robin Dodd from Cyprus and Gordon Bacon even got his feet back on home soil, to be at the event.
Photo's will be uploaded onto the site soon, but the burning question most of us will want to know is, what is the date of next years event  ?? (please)
PS : and a little bit of sunshine /dry weather on the day as well :-)

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Have you checked your driving licence lately? IMPORTANT reminder

Renewing Your Photo Driving Licence every 10 years
If you didn`t know that you need to renew your photo card driving licence after 10 years, then you may well be one of the 40,000 drivers across the UK who are breaking the law-many of whom are doing so unwittingly.
Many motorists believe that their photo card licence-like the old style green paper licences-are valid right up until they turn 70 years of age. In actual fact they expire after a 10 year period. The reason this has come to light recently is because the photo cards were first introduced in 1998, and so 2008 saw the first ten year expiry dates come up and catch thousands of drivers out. Since July 2008, around 170,000 UK licences have expired and by the end of January 2009, more than a quarter of those motorists who are due to renew their licences with the DVLA, hadn`t done so.
Qualified drivers are still entitled to drive a vehicle if their photo card licence has expired, but what they must be aware of is that they could be charged with the offence of failing to renew their photo card licence. If the matter went to court you could end up with a £1000 fine.
Implications on your vehicle insurance if you are fully comprehensive
You may find that if your photo card licence has expired, then your insurance company will refuse to pay up for any claims you make. If this happens, you will be able to appeal, and if your photo card licence is being processed (i.e. you’ve actually applied for renewal) you will usually be ok. However this decision will be down to the insurance company themselves and what their individual policies are for this type of situation. However if you were involved in an accident you will still be covered for third party claims, regardless of whether your photo card licence was still in date.
A check with the Force insurers has confirmed that the insurance cover provided to all police staff whilst driving police vehicles under such circumstances would not be effected.
Please take the time to check the expiry date of your photo card driving licence, and if it is out of date renew it now to avoid inadvertently falling foul of the law and potentially jeopardising the status of your personal vehicle insurance!!
Your expiry date is to be found at section 4b on the front of the photo card licence.
DVLA should send you out a renewal pack a couple of months before the expiry of you photo card licence-so if they do, complete it and send it off to DVLA. Be careful not to disregard or discard this as `junk` mail. If you don`t receive a renewal pack, get a D1 form from the post office or from the DVLA online form ordering services.
To renew the photo card licence will cost you £20.

Monday 7 June 2010

Death of a retired Police Officer - DC 538 Peter A Eddy

It is with deep sadness that we must inform you of the death of former DC 538 Peter A EDDY who died on 5th June 2010 aged 49 years.
Peter was appointed to Durham Constabulary on 18th May 1981 and served at Durham Darlington and Wear Valley, joining CID in 1985. 
He went on to serve at Darlington CID, Drug Squad and at HQ CID (Intelligence).  He retired medically, from HQ CID Economic Crime Unit on 11th March 2010.

Golfing Offer : NARPO members

A colleague of mine recently attended a conference and had a conversation with a delegate from the NARPO organisation. It was mentioned that golf days play a big part within various regions throughout the year. Historically St Mellion have always supported the services in this area and we would like this to continue. I have two discount offers for golf at St Mellion that may be of interest to golfers within your branch.
If you would like further information on these please contact me, either by email or phone and I would be happy to discuss this further.
Kind regards
Tom Francis
Golf Days Advisor
Tel: 01579 352072
Fax: 01579 352046

St. Mellion International Resort - Home of The English Open

Reunion Party 13th June, 2010. - Almost There !!!

Reunion Garden Party Sunday, 13th June, 2010.
Programme of Events
Just in case you've been on another planet in recent weeks, please note that the first, all new Reunion Garden Party jointly organised by Durham Constabulary and the Durham Branch of the National Association of Police Officers ( N.A.R.P.O.) will be held at Durham Police H.Q. Aykley Heads on Sunday, 13th June, 2010. 2pm - 5pm
N.B. Admission strictly by ticket only (FREE but applied for in advance)

Programme of events :-

2.00pm. : Reception .Glass of Cava & Strawberries.
2.15pm : Welcome address by Chief Constable Jon Stoddart and NARPO Chairman, Alan Watson
2.30pm : Durham Constabulary Male Voice Choir.
3.00pm : Dog Display
3.30pm : Durham Constabulary Male Voice Choir.
4.00pm : Durham Constabulary Brass Band.
4.45pm : Raffle and Closing Speeches
5.00pm : Event Close
High Tea will be served in the canteen throughout the event.
Individual photographs will be taken upon arrival and at the end of the event you will be able to collect your own personal photo  from a board as your own personal momento before leaving.

Static Displays on site:-
Magenta  - Motor bike Section
Car Park  - A.N.P.R. Demonstration
Gun Car
Canteen  - Beamish Museum Exhibition
North east Historical Society Exhibition
Durham Constabulary Archive Display
Entrance to Canteen  - Durham Constabulary
Durham Police Authority
P.M.A.S. & Roland Smith Insurance Displays.

Please feel free to view these displays at your leisure throughout the afternoon.
Remember, this has been very carefully planned to ensure a great afternoon out for you, your family & friends, where you can meet up with past friends and colleagues too.
Be sure to obtain your ticket in advance from :
Angie Crawford (NARPO) Welfare Officer. Tel. 0191 5180996;
Colin Appleby (NARPO Treasurer) Tel. 0191 5846178;
Jayne Swinburne Tel. 01913752273;
Amanda Dodds 01913752276 or
Anna Malkin 01913752071
Can you afford to miss it? Be there.

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Death of a retired Police Officer - D/Sgt 1358 Steven Kitching

It is with regret that we announce the death of ex-D/Sgt 1358 Mr Steven Kitching of Shotton Colliery who died on 30th May 2010 aged 53 years. Mr Kitching leaves four children Emma, Stephen, Adam and Nick.
Mr Kitching served with the Royal Marines before joining Durham Constabulary in 1978. He retired from Durham City in 2007 having also served at Consett, Darlington, Spennymoor, HQ CID, Easington, Regional Crime Squad and Chester-le-Street.

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