Thursday 31 December 2015

Changes To Access To The Police Treatment Centre

All Durham retired police officers have now been contacted by email or by letter from
me, to advise them that with effect from 1st January 2016 there will be a number of
significant changes to the way the Police Treatment Centres (which covers the
facilities at Castlebrae, Auchterarder and St Andrews, Harrogate) are to be funded.

PTC Trustees directed that from 1st January 2016, they will allow PCSOs, Special
Constables and Detention/Custody Officers (employed by the Chief Constable or
Police Crime Commissioner)to sign up to donate to the PTC, and that they will be
eligible to access treatment at either of their Centres.

Also the Trustees directed that the PTC will introduce a weekly donation rate of
£0.65 for Retired Officers from 1st January 2016, which they will be required to pay if
they wish to apply for treatment at the PTC.


Many retired colleagues have already signed up but this reminder is to those of you
who may wish to take action but have not yet done so.
Should you have any further questions then please feel free to contact the Police
Treatment Centre either on 01423 504448, via their website at the where further information about the facilities, the
changes and donation forms are all readily available.

I also wish to take this opportunity to wish all retired colleagues very best wishes for 2016

Margaret Toward
Welfare Officer

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Merry Xmas to all our readers

Yes it is that time of year already and our fifth Christmas of providing you with update information, topics and photographs.
We are delighted to let you know that our fame is certainly spreading, both on the web and in the Durham Peeler Magazine. We are now reaching Afghanistan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, U.S.A., Chile, Israel and even British West Hartlepool! You will be delighted to know that we have now had more than 360,000 ‘hits’ on the web page’s and over 200 regular recipients of death notifications of serving and retired officers.

If you’d like to join the list, let us have your email details,brief service details and specific points of interest. It always pays to be informed. (send email to :

If you have recently retired on pension, why not take up membership of N.A.R.P.O. and receive the Durham Peeler Magazine (Twice/year), the National NARPO News magazine  (4 times/ year) Social Events, really competitive Insurance rates  and opportunity to attend the 6 bi-monthly meeting where you enjoy a great atmosphere, meet old friends and colleagues and keep up to date with things that affect your pension.

This coming year will see a change of chairman as Alan Watson will be retiring from the post  at the Durham NARPO AGM on Monday 21st March 2016 (1930hrs) at Durham Indoor Bowling Club (Although he will still be very busy with ‘pen & paper’, preparing & publishing the Durham Peeler magazine). Hopefully we’ll have a good turnout at the AGM to show our appreciation to Alan for the many years of help & support he has provided to us & to welcome the new chairman into the post

To those who have sadly lost their loved ones this year we especially extend our deepest sympathy at this time of the year.
Here’s wishing you all a Merry Xmas & a Happy New Year,  may it be a prosperous, healthy and successful New Year. 

Saturday 19 December 2015

PCC & Chief Constable respond to funding statement

Mike BartonDurham Constabulary will receive a £0.4m reduction in Government funding next year.

Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg will be allocated £85.8m in 2016/17 to fund the force, which was deemed 'outstanding' at managing its resources in the last independent inspection.
Ron said: “Whilst this is better than expected it still means that we will see fewer officers and staff than we currently have.
“Not only are we having to pay for a nationally agreed pay award, which is welcome news for officers and staff, but we are also having to pay an extra £1.5m per year from next April to the Government towards the cost of increases in state pensions.
“Durham is at the pinnacle of policing and I would like to think that it will remain there despite a small reduction in Government funding.
“We are still committed to working with our partners to collaborate wherever possible to ensure money is spent wisely.
“I am pleased that the Chief Constable is continuing to make efficiencies where possible by challenging non-pay budgets and stripping out vacant posts where these are no longer needed so that we can both continue to focus on our priority areas.”

Chief Constable Mike Barton said: “We have been planning for the worst and hoping for the best. 
“This gives us a platform to build upon which I think is good news for the public and bad news for the criminals. 
“Rest assured that we will be able to continue providing high quality services, not just to the victims of crime but to others who need us. 
“That said, we still face the prospect of a further reduction from April 2017 because of changes in the way the Government allocates funding.
“We will be working with the Home Office to ensure any adverse impact is minimised in Durham.”

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Copper Plate Light… latest news from Durpol returns


It’s back… Copper Plate

With a new name of Copper Plate Light & a bi-monthly issue to keep you up to date with all the latest news from across the force.

Many Thanks to the Media team at HQ for producing the paper once more.

If you have any items which could be of intertest for the Copper Plate Light then please either ring the team at HQ on (0191) 3752157 or email at

To view the Copper Plate Light please click on the image

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : Sgt 1014 John Wright

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired Police Officer : Sgt 1014 John Wright who died on 8th December 2015 aged 81 years. Mr Wright served at Stanhope, Crook and Seaham during his career and retired from Durham Constabulary in 1980. The funeral will take place at 2 pm on Friday 18th December 2015 at Wear Valley Crematorium in Coundon. The service is not private. Family flowers only. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Great North Air Ambulance Service. Our thoughts are with the family and friends at this sad time.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

The Police Cadet 1973

A great video showing Police Cadets at the ‘new’ Police HQ, Aykley Heads in the early 70’s.

At the time the cadet school had approx. one hundred & fifty (150) cadets from Durham, Northumbria, Cleveland, North Yorkshire & Junior Firemen.

The cadets were residential in the five accommodation blocks, Finlay, Bede, Harwick, Lambton & Neville.

This film from the British Film Institute is titled ‘The Police Cadet 1973’ although the footage is actually from the early 70’s through to about 1974

From Britain on Film available at BFI Player

For those of you who live outside the UK or are trying to view on a smartphone or tablet please click on this link :


Tuesday 1 December 2015

Another one from Aycliffe

PC's Mick Wilson & Steve WildPC 267 Mick Wilson & PC Steve Wild in the parade room at Newton Aycliffe about 1988.

Nice radio in Mick’s pocket & the ‘old whistle & chain’ on display, shirt, tie & tunics …….

No computers… so plenty of paperwork in those days

Mick & Steve certainly don’t seem to be having a mid-life crisis like the mug says Smile

Bishop Auckland Open Day 1983

Alec Francis & Roy Smith - (AR40) Bishop Auckland 1983 Many Thanks to Roy Smith for sending the above photos which were both were taken in the rear yard at Bishop Auckland Police Office in October 1983 when the station threw open its doors for an open day.Officers in the  group photograph from the Traffic Department are L to R: Danny McKie, Roy Smith, Michael French, Alec Francis, Don Moody, Sgt Stuart Oakley, Dave Surtees, ? and finally Tommy Fortune (Motorcycles). The patrol car, was A687XCN a Ford Granada call sign Mike 20 Papa (M20P), formerly Alpha Red 40 (AR40)

Many Thanks to Roy Smith for sending the above photos which were both were taken in the rear yard at Bishop Auckland Police Office in October 1983 when the station threw open its doors for an open day.
Officers in the  group photograph from the Traffic Department are L to R:
Danny McKie (Motorcycles), Roy Smith, Michael French, Alec Francis, Don Moody, Sgt Stuart Oakley, Dave Surtees, Malcolm Magee and Tom Fortune (Motorcycles). (Click on the images to open them in the album)
The patrol car, was A687XCN a Ford Granada call sign Mike 20 Papa (M20P), formerly Alpha Red 40 (AR40)

Newton Aycliffe in the winter


An ‘old’ one from Newton Aycliffe Police office from about 1985 of PC Mick Kent, Sgt Steve Bell & WPC  Kate Field.

Nice to see the Christmas Tree & decorations in the background and that Kate has been out in the snow with her regulation torch tucked into her greatcoat….. happy days

Thanks to John Bardon for taking the photo and Arran Field for sending us the photo

Saturday 28 November 2015

Xmas is coming (From the Band & Choir)

Male-Voice-Choir-Poster-2015A few dates for your diaries for the festive season :

999 Emergency Services Carol Service - St Cuthbert's Church, Darlington (opposite the Police Station) 7pm Thursday 10th December

Concert by the Durham Constabulary Band and Male Voice Choir  7pm Friday 18th December at Elvet Methodist Church, Durham (all proceeds in aid of the Grace Haven Orphanage, Myanmar which is run by ex-Det Insp Fred Farley and his wife). Tickets £6 available on the door.
Force Carol Service,  3pm Sunday 20th December, St Cuthbert's Church, Durham (opposite DLI Museum).

Friday 27 November 2015

Temporary vacancies for retired police officers

Durham Constabulary currently have some temporary vacancies on their website open to retired police officers.
Applications are invited from retired police officers as the force is currently experiencing high levels of demand within Safeguarding. In order to assist with this demand we are looking for individuals with experience as an investigator with excellent communication skills to support the Safeguarding team as a Temporary Safeguarding Investigative Officer. Applicants must have recent experience of undertaking an investigation.
Applications for this post close on Friday 27th November 2015
Further info can be obtained from Human Resources : 0191 375 2123

Thursday 26 November 2015

Death of a former member of police staff - Alan Dunnill

KM002-20151201133803It is with sadness that we have to advise colleagues of the death of a former member of police staff :  Alan Dunnill who died at his home on Tuesday 24th November, aged 66 years.
Alan joined Durham Constabulary on the 10th May 1971 and served for almost 38 years in Comms/Control Room/ Incident Support Unit,  both at HQ and at Bishop Auckland, retiring on 28th February 2009.
He was also involved with UNISON for many years and held the Treasurers post for some time.
Alan leaves a wife, Wendy.
Funeral arrangements are now confirmed and the service will be held at Wear Valley Crematorium at Coundon on Friday 4th December 2015 at 11am.
The service is not private and Wendy invites former colleagues and friends to both the service and for refreshments afterwards at the Masonic Hall, Church Street, Crook.
Our thoughts are with Wendy and Alan's family and friends at this sad time.

Thursday 19 November 2015

Urgently review the Home Secretary's Policing Policies before it is too late

Online government petition for you to view & consider signing
At 10,000 signatures, government will respond to this petition
At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

The Winsor Reviews were adopted without any Impact Assessment being carried out.
The Home Secretary keeps repeating that crime is down, despite evidence to the contrary.
Police Strength & resources are being slashed Terrorist threat is raised Public Safety is being put at risk by these policies
The Crime Survey of England & Wales states that Recorded Crime is up by 3%
The National Audit Office claims that Home Office staff don't understand the effects of the deep cuts they are making.
Knife Crime is up yet Home Secretary is demanding curbs on Stop and Search
The Policing Minister has no idea whether the proposed further cuts are sustainable or not
Too much has been cut too quickly with scant regard for the consequences.
Core Policing functions are being put at risk by these policies.

To view the petition please click here :

Discharge Letters–Update

NARPO have now been made aware that the Home Office have now advised Pension Administrators that those due additional lump sums are no longer required to sign a discharge letter before the payments can be made. 
This concurs with the legal advice NARPO obtained and shared with the Home Office.
Those who are to receive payments should still check the payment is correct and if necessary request the actual calculation made by the Administrator to verify the amount.
Pension Administrators should now be working to make these payments as soon as possible without any further delay.
David Devine at Pay & Pensions was informed by the Home Office yesterday and has informed us that they are currently awaiting GAD to confirm their calculations and once received they will contact all those entitled with details of the arrears and the likely payment date.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Next meeting of NARPO (Durham Branch)

The next meeting of NARPO (Durham Branch) will be held on Monday 23rd November at 7.30pm at Durham Bowling Club.
Light buffet afterwards.
All members or prospective members are invited to come along & enjoy

If you don't know where to go, Click On This Link and you'll see a map of the location and you can get driving directions to it.

Durham Indoor Bowling Club, Abbey Road, Pity Me, Durham  DH1 5GE

Latest edition of the Durham Peeler (Winter 2015) now online

DP - Winter 2015NARPO chairman Alan Watson has been ‘burning the candle at both ends’ to once again  produce the latest edition of the Durham Peeler – Winter 2015.

Please CLICK HERE or on the image to view the magazine

To ‘catch up’ on previous editions of the Durham Peeler visit the website at :

Monday 16 November 2015

Death of retired Police Staff member 4465 : Ashley Adams

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of retired Police Staff member 4465 : Ashley Adams, who died on the 3rd November 2015, aged 72 years.
Ashley joined Durham Constabulary on the 13th March 1972 and she medically retired on the 1st September 2002, having worked in Enquiry/Communications at both Stanley and  Consett.
The funeral service will be held on Thursday the 19th November at 14.00pm at Mountsett Crematorium, Dipton. The funeral is not private.
Our thoughts are with Ashley’s family and friends at this sad time.

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Government forced into humiliating U-turn over its shambolic reform of police funding

THE GOVERNMENT has been forced into a humiliating U-turn after admitting that its controversial reform of police funding had become a shambles.
Police chiefs reacted with astonishment after the Home Office admitted it had used out-of-date figures to calculate force budgets - a blunder which would have cost have cost Durham Police an estimated £10m.

The minister said that the Government intended to press ahead with police funding reform, but would delay the changes which were expected to come in next year.
However, following unprecedented protests and the threat of legal action, Police Minister Mike Penning has now called a halt to the process.
In an embarrassing U-turn he admitted the proposed changes were "never indicative" of police budgets under the funding formula and said the changes for 2016/17 will now be delayed.
Answering an urgent question in the Commons, Mr Penning, above, said:
"Within this process I am sad to say there was a statistical error made on the data that has been used. While this data does not change the principles of what was consulted on, the allocation provided to the forces was never indicative.
We recognise this has caused a great deal of concern to police forces around the country. I and the Government regret this mistake and I apologise to the House. I also apologise to the 43 authorities that I wrote to during the extended consultation period as part of the funding formula review."
Mr Penning said the Government would seek the views of police and crime commissioners and the National Police Chiefs Council before proceeding with the changes.
He insisted it was important to arrive at a fair and transparent formula matched by demand and supported by the police.

Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Ron Hogg, above, said he was "astonished the Home Office let things get so far" before admitting it had made a mistake.
However, Mr Hogg said: "While I am totally delighted with this afternoon's outcome I no longer have confidence in the Home Office to carry out this review of police funding correctly. I think the whole process should be handed over to an independent review body which can come up with a fair funding formula after proper consultation with PCCs."

Mike Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, said: “Mike Penning’s announcement is good news for the Constabulary and goes to show that if we get our act together and have the evidence we can take on people when they make mistakes.
I would like to thank our MPs and in particular Kevan Jones, Phil Wilson, and Helen Goodman for their support.
I am sorry that I may have put the cat amongst the pigeons this weekend and I know that many colleagues have been concerned at the prospect of having to lose an extra 250 police officers.
At least we can now get back to the day job of continuing to keep Durham at the pinnacle of policing".

The apology comes amid bitter controversy over the planned changes, with six Police and Crime Commissioners, including North Yorkshire commissioner Julia Mulligan, threatening the Home Office with legal action over fears they are set to lose millions of pounds in Government support.
Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz, who asked the urgent question, described the situation as a "shambles".
He said 31 out of 43 police forces would lose money as a result of the error and added: "This entire process has been described by police and crime commissioners and others as unfair, unjust and fundamentally flawed.
"What started off with good intentions is rapidly descending into farce.
To call it a shambles would be charitable."

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson asked the minister to “go back to the drawing board and recalibrate the formula and come back with something more sensible.”

Saturday 7 November 2015

£10m Durham Police funding cut – PCC Ron Hogg ‘blasts’ government

Ron HoggDurham’s police commissioner has blasted the Government - after the force was left reeling by a £10m funding cut.
The amount of money Durham Constabulary is likely to receive to police next year is set to be slashed from £80m to £70m after a wide-ranging Government funding review.
Durham and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg has hit out at the ‘bewildering’ 12.5% cash cut - which was only broke to police bosses yesterday (06/11/2015).
Mr Hogg said: “I am both angry and bewildered as to how the Government can say that we can police County Durham and Darlington with £10m less to spend each year.
“I have written to the Government in the strongest terms stating that they should abandon this whole process and leave the current funding formula alone as it is causing too much instability, not only for Durham but also for other Forces.
Durham is the highest performing Police Force in the Country and this is what the public expect, however continuation of this is dependent upon the Government taking a sensible view as to the level of funding we need.
Currently the Government’s view totally lacks this common sense approach.”

The Home Office insisted that no final decisions on funding had been taken and said that data and calculations would be “rigorously tested" before any allocations are made.
Earlier this year, the Home Office announced a review of the 10-year-old Police Allocation Formula, the complicated calculation which determines how much cash each force receives from central Government, and launched a consultation process on an alternative funding formula.
However, Mr Hogg claims that on the final day of consultation today an error came to light over the use of the wrong data in calculating “urban adversity”, which would see Durham Constabulary’s grant cut from the current £80m to £70m.
The grant cut does not include any further budget reductions which could be announced in George Osbourne’s Comprehensive Spending Review at the end of this month

Policing minister Mike Penning MP, said police reform was working and crime was falling.
He said: If we want policing in this country to be the best it can be, then we must reform further, and that includes putting police funding on a long-term, sustainable footing.
The current model for allocating police funding, is complex, opaque and out of date.
That is why we have consulted on principles for reform of funding arrangements for the police in England and Wales, ensuring they are fair, robust and transparent”.
The minister added: “We are refining our proposed model in light of responses to the public consultation and are engaging further with Police and Crime Commissioners and forces as part of this process.
Allocations for individual police force areas have not been set and decisions on funding will not be made until after the Spending Review reports in November.”
Labour MP Kevan Jones said, “The £10m-a-year Government cut announced today to Durham Constabulary’s budget will put further strains on an already under pressure service.
A £10m cut equates to the loss of an additional 200 officers in Durham and explodes the myth of the Tories being the party of law and order.   
It also shows how pathetic the Chancellor’s much-vaunted £30m regional funding really is.
This is the Government giving with one hand, and taking away much more with the other.”

A time to reflect as we approach Remembrance Sunday

Flanders FieldRemembrance Day is also known as Poppy Day.

It was first observed in 1919, however until 1945 it was called Armistice Day. Traditionally there is two minutes of silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month because that was the time (in Britain) when the armistice became effective in 1918.
Today, in the UK Remembrance Sunday is also observed on the Sunday nearest to November 11th. So, in the United Kingdom, two minutes' silence is observed on November 11 itself, and on the second Sunday of November. Remembrance Sunday, ceremonies are held at War Memorials, all over the UK and over the years it has become a day to commemorate not just the sacrifice of servicemen and women but the suffering of civilians in times of war.

Remembrance Sunday is commemorated by church services around the UK and a parade of ex-service personnel in London’s Whitehall. Wreaths of poppies are placed on war memorials from the Cenotaph, a war memorial in Whitehall, to the tiniest war memorials in villages all over Britain. Small wooden crosses are placed in Gardens of Remembrance as private acts of remembering individual losses and suffering and people pin poppies to their coat or jacket.

History states that it was the poem 'In Flanders Fields' written in 1915 by Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian Medical Officer, that captured the imagination of the British people in the dark days of trench warfare on the Western Front when so many young soldiers failed to return. Six months before the Armistice, McCrae was brought on a stretcher to a big hospital on the French coast and saw the cliffs of Dover from his room. He died that night and was buried in a cemetery above Wimereux. Before he died, he said to the doctor: "Tell them this . . . If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep." An American woman, Miss Moina Michael, wrote a moving poem in reply and bought 25 red poppies, wearing one herself as a way to keep faith with the war dead; a French woman, Madame Guerin, came up with the practical idea of making and selling artificial poppies to help ex-service men and their dependents in need.

Britain's first Poppy Day was held in 1921 and the money raised helped children in war-devastated areas. The Royal British Legion opened its own poppy factory in London in 1922 to give practical help in time of need to all who have served in the armed forces and their widows and dependents. The paper poppies that are worn today are made by ex-service personnel and are sold by representatives of the Royal British Legion, an organisation of ex-servicemen and women. Today, they make more than 35 million poppies and 65,000 wreaths for the annual poppy appeal. Poppies grew in great abundance in the shell-torn fields of Flanders during the War. Because of its abundance it became the symbol of remembrance of two world wars.

Thursday 5 November 2015

Revised commutation factors : further update

“Over the past few weeks Pay and Pensions have received numerous enquiries in respect of the amended lump sums that are due to some retired officers. Many of the enquiries have included the information that other forces are about to or have already issued discharge notices and that payments are imminent or paid

Our response has been that we are awaiting guidance from the Home Office regarding the wording of the discharge notice as it is intended to cover a wide area and needs to provide relevant cover for all interested parties.

I give below the paragraph in respect of the discharge notices from a letter issued by the Home Office on 2/11/2015

“Discharge notice

Please accept our apologies that it has taken longer than expected to revert with advice in relation to discharge notices. We recognise that former officers are concerned about the issue.  The topic has raised unexpectedly complex issues. However, the timescale for payments that we set out originally has not changed – the Government expects that pensions administrators will make the majority of calculations by December 2015 and the majority of payments by April 2016.  We expect that these issues will be resolved shortly (i.e. within the next few weeks) and we will provide further advice as soon as possible”

Once the wording of the discharge notice is provided we will issue the discharge notices and make payment within the declared timescale

With regard to the payments themselves completion of the GAD spreadsheet that calculates the payment and interest is almost complete. This will be forwarded to GAD within the next week and once the lump sum payment amounts are confirmed we will endeavor to inform recipients of the lump sum part of the payment. The interest payment will depend on the date the payment is made as it is calculated on a day by day basis therefore it would be inappropriate to included that information. I will inform when the actual payment date is established.”


David Devine

Tuesday 3 November 2015

PC 6554 David Phillips


Hundreds of people flocked to pay their last respects at the funeral of Merseyside Police’s PC Dave Phillips , who was killed in a hit-and-run.
The congregation stood as the 34-year-old officer’s coffin was carried into Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.
Earlier, his widow, Jen, 28, led the procession of mourners through the city’s streets.
Dressed in black, she walked behind her husband’s coffin, which had been draped in a blue Merseyside Police force cloth, holding her seven-year-old daughter Abigail’s hand as younger daughter Sophie, three, followed behind.
PC Phillips died after he was hit by a Mitsubishi pick-up truck while trying to use a stinger device on the stolen vehicle in Wallasey in the early hours of October 5.

Scores of uniformed officers from Merseyside Police had marched behind the hearse as it was led through Liverpool by horses from the force’s mounted department.
More officers from around the country joined in, making the city’s streets awash with a sea of black.
Merseyside Chief Constable Sir Jon Murphy and the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, were also in attendance.
Inside, the cathedral was adorned with blue and white flowers draped with blue ribbons to symbolise PC Phillips’s work in the force.
Dozens of candles were lit in an arrow shape behind his coffin which stood in the middle of the cathedral.
As the service began, the Reverend Lyndon Bannon, assistant priest at Willaston in Wirral and assistant headteacher of Woodchurch Church of England High School in Wirral, welcomed the mourners.
The Order of Service handed out to the congregation showed a picture of Pc Phillips wearing his uniform and smiling.

Rev Bannon described PC Phillips as “a loving gentleman”.
He said that, as an officer, he had “served the nation” and, like other officers, had put his life on the line every day.

Sir Jon Murphy said the whole of the country had been left outraged by the loss of “one of our finest”.
He added that PC Phillips had epitomised everything that we aspire to be - “a professional force with the human touch”.
In his eulogy, he said: “Constable 6554 Dave Phillips came to the police from the community of the Wirral - a local boy who joined his local force, Merseyside Police, to serve his local community.
“Dave did this with dedication, with humility and with great courage. In serving his community Dave paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
He described him to the congregation as “professional, dedicated, leader, role model, respected and caring”.
He added: “On that terrible night Dave showed dedication to duty, he did everything in his power to keep the public safe, he acted in the finest traditions of the police service. He too was brave.
“But Dave didn’t come home and the police service of the United Kingdom and beyond is here today to honour him.”
Our thoughts are with the family, friends & colleagues of PC David Phillips

Thursday 22 October 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : PC Ronald M. Storey

Digital StillCameraIt is with sadness that we record the death of a retired Police Officer : PC Ronald M STOREY who died on  September 6th, aged 79 years.
Ron joined Durham Constabulary in September 1956 and after leaving Training at HQ he served at Chester-le-Street, Felling, Heworth Colliery, Motor Patrols/Traffic, Meadowfield, and Bowburn retiring from Court Office, Durham on 4th March 1983.
Ron was a  dearly loved dad, father-in-law, grandad and great-grandad.

His funeral service took place in Durham Crematorium on Friday, September 11th at 3.30p.m.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : PC 145 Sandra Victoria Winter

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired Police Officer : PC 145 Sandra Victoria Winter who died on 14th October 2015, aged 58 years.
Sandra joined Durham Constabulary on 26th June 1975 and served until 31st January 1984.
The funeral service is not private and will be at 11.30 on Friday 30th October 2015 at King Charles the Martyr Church on Church Street in Falmouth. Postcode is TR11 3DX
Our thoughts are with her friends and family at this sad time.

Tuesday 20 October 2015

HMIC Assessment (PEEL Report)

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Durham Constabulary is the top performing Force in the country after receiving the highest possible gradings by inspectors.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) carried out the latest element of the Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2014 (the PEEL Report).

The inspections, which are part of a rolling programme, looked at how efficient forces are at keeping people safe and reducing crime.

This was broken down to three areas. Durham Constabulary was graded “outstanding” – the highest grade - in each area.

It is the only force in the country to achieve this.

The HMIC report said: “HMIC found that Durham Constabulary is exceptionally well prepared to face its future financial challenges.

“HMIC found that the constabulary has a comprehensive understanding of the demand for its services and is using innovative ways of working to manage demand, with widespread joint problem-solving with other local organisations.

“The constabulary has an impressive track record of robust financial management, accurate budgeting and achieving planned savings.”

Durham currently holds two “outstandings” and a “good” as part of previous inspections for effectiveness.

This means that out of a possible six areas, the Force has received five “outstandings” and one “good” – the best of any force in the country.

Chief Constable Mike Barton said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have received these gradings.

“It is down to the hard work of everyone who works or volunteers for Durham Constabulary that we are in such an enviable position and they should take the credit.

“At a time when we are operating amongst the continuing bite of austerity, it is heart-warming that we are recognised in this way.

“Now for the hard work, to maintain our success. But I have every confidence that our talented people will do just that.” 

Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “In my role as Police and Crime Commissioner, I am required to ensure our residents receive an efficient and effective policing service. The last two HMIC PEEL inspections have seen Durham the only Force in the country to receive five outstanding grades out of six, with the remaining one graded as good.
“This outcome is a testament to the tremendous hard work throughout the whole of Durham Constabulary, from the leadership right through to the front line, including the vital assistance we receive from our statutory partners, the voluntary sector and our communities.”

Wednesday 14 October 2015

PD Nero & PC 1882 Arthur Charlton

PD Nero & Arthur CharltonPD Nero is pictured here with his handler PC 1482 Arthur Charlton who was a handler for 26 years & an instructor for 3 before he retired in 1993. (The information & photos used have been kindly passed to us by his Granddaughter & taken from an email she sent the PawsUp ‘team’).
Nero was born in 1976 and was a county bred puppy, with the Kennel Name ‘Aycliffe Pedro’….Granddad (Arthur)changed his name to Nero so he wouldn’t have to shout PEDRO in public!
Nero was given to my Granddad in 1977 when he was 3 months old and he served as a general purpose dog until 1986 when he retired after suffering an injury to his front left paw after jumping from a high wall. He then went to live with the Landlord at the Black Bull Pub in Ferryhill with another Police Dog, Lance (who was twice the size of Nero!)
Nero also took part in many competitions and won the Additional Police Dog Trials in 1982. Nero once went missing after taking part in a search and rescue; a girl found him in the woods and tried to take him back into Bishop Auckland. To the girl’s surprise, Nero (apparently) recognised where he was and found the Police Station and barked until someone came to find him! Quite clever for a dog who thought eating a plastic beef burger was a good idea; and who thought he could fit a garden clothes prop through a door…lengthways!

For more information on our retired Police dogs and PD Nero please visit our retired Police Dogs  PawsUp website at

Details of the PawsUp 2016 Xmas calendar will be circulated as soon as we have the information.

Federation Magazines available to view

  August 2015   September 2015  

Federation magazines for the months August & September have been updated on the website

To view these magazines please CLICK HERE to go to the Federation page of the website and then click on the individual month to read the magazine

PCC'S Celebration Of Superheroes

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Local people will have the chance to find out more about the work of our real-life superheroes, at an event hosted by Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg.

The event is free, with free parking, and will be held on Saturday 31st October at Sedgefield Racecourse from 10am – 4pm. It will showcase and raise awareness of all the good work that is happening in our local communities.

All emergency services, including the police, fire service, ambulance, mountain rescue and coast guard are attending, so that families can get involved in exciting activities and see demonstrations from real life local superheroes.

Other community safety organisations who make a difference to people’s everyday lives will also be on hand with fun family activities and to provide information and advice, giving families and individuals a better understanding of what they do and how they can help.

Activities and demonstrations include police vehicles, dog displays, fire engine aerial platform rides, traffic collision rescue display, a children's Crime Scene Investigation treasure hunt, Halloween and superhero fancy dress competition, bouncy castle, police dogs Jet & Ben, soft play, ball pool, competitions with prizes and much more.

For further details please ring Tel: 03000 26463 or email to :

Change of Rules for Retired Officers at Police Treatment Centres

Please see message received from the Police Treatment Centres on the 6th October :
”Dear Colleague,
As you will hopefully be aware the Board of Trustees directed on 1st August 2015 that if Retired Officers wish to access free treatment at the Police Treatment Centres (PTC) from 1st January 2016 that they must be signed up to the PTC as a current donor.
Attached to this email are two documents – the first a letter that has been sent out to all retired officers that have visited the centre, detailing the change in policy, and the second a Direct Debit Form which officers can complete to start donating to the charity, and therefore be eligible to receive free treatment.
Please can you distribute these documents to your members.”

Copies of the documents and further information can be found on our website,
The Police Treatment Centres

To view/download /print the required forms please click on the links below :

Retired Officer Sign Up Form

Retired Police Officer Sign Up Details Letter

If you have previously visited the Police Treatment Centres as a retired officer you will already have received this correspondence direct from them.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : PC 37 Rosemary CHARLTON

It is with regret that we have to advise you of the death of a retired Police Officer :  PC 37 Rosemary CHARLTON who died on 19th September 2015 at St Mary’s Nursing Home, Durham aged 75 years.
Rosemary joined Durham Constabulary on the 2nd August 1960 and medically retired on the 15th January 1984, having served at  Stanley then  Blaydon, back to Stanley, at Durham, then with Cadet Training Supervision, back to Durham, at Consett, back at  Durham,  NECRO and retiring from the North East Fingerprint Bureau.
Her funeral service is not private and friends and former colleagues are invited to meet for the service on Monday 5th October 2015 at 13.30 at Durham Crematorium.
No flowers please by request but any donations in lieu have been requested to go to the British Heart Foundation.
Rosemary will be much missed by her family and friends and our thoughts are with them at this sad time.

Monday 14 September 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : Supt. Joseph Ronald Bradley (Ex Durham & Northumbria)

It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of a retired Police Officer : Joseph Ronald Bradley, 80 years (residing in Washington) who died whilst on holiday in Scotland on 5th September, 2015.
Ron was a Durham Police Officer working as Detective Constable at Jarrow Division before transferring to Northumbria when the borders changed in 1974. It is believed he retired as Superintendent.
He leaves a widow, Greta, daughter Gillian & son Paul

Funeral arrangements are : Durham Crematorium on Monday, 21st September, 2015 at 2.30pm. Friends are invited to the Honest Lawyer after the ceremony.
No further details available at this time re flowers and donations

Saturday 12 September 2015

The ‘Thin Blue Line’ gets ever thinner !


Article from the Mirror (online) – please click on the image of Theresa May to view the article and vote YES or NO

Cost-cutting Tory ministers want volunteers to investigate crimes and interview victims after axing thousands of police jobs.
Home Secretary Theresa May said volunteers have a “greater role” to play in the police service following years of Tory austerity.
More than 17,000 police officers have been axed since 2010, with a further 22,000 now facing the boot by the end of the decade.
Shadow Police Minister Jack Dromey raged: “The Tory Government has slashed police officer numbers. Vital Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are also set to be a thing of the past.
“Now Theresa May has the cheek to suggest that these jobs may be done by volunteers.”
Launching a consultation, Mrs May said volunteers like ‘special constables’ already play a “vital role” in policing - but can do much more.
Shadow Police Minister Jack Dromey hit out at the plans, “This Government wants to encourage those with skills in particular demand, such as those with specialist IT or accountancy skills, to get involved and help the police to investigate cyber or financial crime and, as their experience grows, to enable them to play a greater part in investigations,” she said.
Her consultation paper published yesterday makes clear volunteers will have a wide-ranging role in the coming years.
A greater reliance on volunteers “should mean a greater availability of police personnel (i.e. the volunteers themselves) to interview victims, take witness statements etc in the evenings and weekends”, the Home Office paper states.
Will Riches, vice chairman of rank-and-file body the Police Federation of England and Wales, raged: “This Government’s proposal for a new tier of police volunteers sounds like a half-way house between paid PCSOs and specials.
Another 22,000 cops are set to go by the end of the decade
“Recruiting super-volunteers is no more a solution to the challenges of policing than a nurse putting a little plaster on a patient who is bleeding to death.”
Under the new rules, chief officers will be allowed to confer civilian staff with any of the powers of a police officer, apart from a list of core powers.
The list of includes making arrests, carrying out stop and searches and all powers under counter-terrorism legislation.
Labour warned giving more powers to civilian staff could also open the door to private firms like G4S taking a bigger role.
“The Tories must ask themselves if they are happy to preside over the hollowing out of our police force to the point where public protection on the frontline is being done by companies like G4S or untrained volunteers,” Mr Dromey blasted.

Friday 4 September 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : Sgt Ray Gibbon (Durham & Northumbria)

Ray GibbonIt is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of a retired Police Officer : Sgt Raymond Gibbon who died on Monday 31st August 2015, aged 85yrs.
Ray was born on the 24th September 1929 and joined Durham Constabulary in 1956, initially being stationed at West Hartlepool, before being subsequently serving at Ferryhill, Dog section,Peterlee,Wingate and Durham.
Ray also served as the village police officer at Witton Gilbert before transferring to Northumbria Police where he was promoted to Sgt and served on the dog section before retiring from Whickham in 1984
In retirement spent his time doing voluntary work with various charities, such as the Samaritans. He also served for 20 years in the Citizens Advice Bureau, eventually he became a Durham City Councillor. He had the honour of serving as Mayor of the city in the year 2003/2004 and became an Alderman of Durham in 2008


Ray Gibbon BookRay also wrote a book - The Way it Was :Tales from a Policeman's Notebook, which is an entertaining collection of short stories taken from the Ray's pocket notebooks from his time as a serving officer

Ray is survived by his wife Margaret, two children Nigel & Alison and four grandchildren.
The Funeral service will be held on Thursday September 10th at 10.30am at North Rd Methodist Church Durham City, followed by Durham Crematorium.
The family would like you to join them afterwards at the Church for refreshments.
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time

Saturday 29 August 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : PC 78 Jane Lambert

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired Police Officer : PC 78 Jane Lambert who died on 24th August 2015, aged 47 years.
Jane retired from Criminal Justice Unit on 20th July 2011
The funeral will take place at 11.30 am on Wednesday 2nd September 2015 at St Hilda’s Crematorium, Acklam Road, Teesside, TS5 7HD.
The service is not private. Friends and former colleagues are welcome to attend the service and to join with the family afterwards for a buffet at Billingham Golf Club, Sandy Lane, Billingham, TS22 5NA.
Family flowers only.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to The British Heart Foundation.
Our thoughts are with Jane's friends and family at this sad time.

Monday 24 August 2015

Fund raising events for Police Memorial at Darlington

Mark Gatiss Poster copy Sports Evening DJ copy

Two fund raising events to be held end of September / beginning of October in aid of the Darlington Police Memorial Fund

Job Opportunity – Carmel College, Darlington

Carmel College copy

Federation Magazines available to view

March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015

Federation magazines for the months March to July have been updated on the website

To view these magazines please CLICK HERE to go to the Federation page of the website and then click on the individual month to read the magazine

Death of a former Police Officer : Allan Edgar

Allan EdgarTRIBUTES have been paid to a policeman turned publican who was a force to be reckoned with on the cricket pitch and the life and soul of every party.
Surprisingly agile given his large 6ft 2ins frame, Allan Edgar was nicknamed “the cat” by his colleague and teammate on Durham Police’s cricket team Alan Courtney.
In his prime, in the 1970s, the popular PC also played for Bishop Auckland Cricket Club and was described by fellow cricketer Keith Hopper as "the best wicket keeper who didn’t play for Durham County."
But if there was one thing that overshadowed his cricket ability, it was his colourful personality.
Mr Edgar was a good friend to many and when he swapped catching criminals for pulling pints there was never a dull moment in the pubs he managed, which included the North Briton in Aycliffe Village.
On cricket tours, he would entertain everyone with impromptu stand-up comedy performances, the most famous involving taking apart and reassembling a pub piano.
His recent death at the age of 70 has prompted an outpouring of tributes from his many friends.
Born in Ferryhill Station in 1944, Mr Edgar attended Broom Cottages School and played for Mainsforth Cricket Club in his youth.
On leaving school he worked at Patons and Baldwins Wool Factory in Darlington, before joining Durham Police in 1964.
He stayed in the force until 1977 when he left to manage the bar at Bishop Auckland Cricket Club.
Five years later he became the landlord of the North Briton where for a decade he worked happily alongside his good friend Phyllis Blenkinsopp.
Many well known cricketers stayed at the pub during this time and it became a Mecca for those who enjoyed good banter and sport chat.
Alongside cricket, Mr Edgar, who never married, enjoyed horseracing, an interest which culminated in him and his friends at the North Briton buying a racehorse.

In the early 1990s, Mr Edgar moved to Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, where he managed a French cafe bar before taking over the Honest Lawyer.
Last week, his brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Carol Edgar, from Bishop Middleham, visited the real ale pub to chat to the regulars.
Mrs Edgar said: “People came up to us and said they wanted us to know how well liked he was. They couldn’t speak highly enough of him. He really was wonderful, the ultimate host.”  
Bob Edgar added: “He was just Allan. He was daft as a brush and lived life to the full. He never complained about anything.”
Mr Edgar’s funeral takes place at Woodlands Crematorium, Brumby Wood Lane, Scunthorpe, on Wednesday, August 26 at 2pm.

Saturday 22 August 2015

Death of retired Police Officer : PC 608 George Bennison

George BENNISONcIt is with regret that we have to announce the death of retired Police Officer, PC 608 George Bennison, who died on 16th August 2015, aged 83 years.
George joined Durham Constabulary on 14th Feb 1953 and served at Consett, Stanley, Chester-le-Street, Fingerprints, and the Special Incident Squad.  He retired on pension  18th December 1983 from HQ Photography.
Mr Bennison leaves a widow Margaret.
The funeral will take place on Friday 28th August 2015 at 1.30pm at Durham Crematorium. This service is not private.
Family flowers only please by request or donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Great North Air Ambulance please.
Our thoughts are with the Bennison family and George’s friends at this sad time.

Thursday 13 August 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : George Fenn

It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of a retired Police Officer : George Fenn, aged 91 years, who died on Monday 3rd August, 2015 at his son’s home in Kent.
Mr Fenn was a widower (wife Pearl) and leaves an adult son, Anthony (Tony) and daughter.
George Fenn was a popular and  very well respected member of Durham Constabulary, serving early service in Crime Cars ( Darlington & Aycliffe), Sergeant Instructor at Harperley Hall, C.C's P.A. to Alec Muir, Commandant at Harperley Hall (Training), Commandant at Police Staff College (Dishforth Wing) (1969) Commander of the Special Course, Bramshill from 1970 for two years and Assistant/Deputy Chief Constable, Durham Constabulary until 1977 when he was appointed Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary, retiring on 31st January, 1984.
Funeral arrangements are as follows : Blacon Crematorium, Chester.(Directly opposite to the Blacon Police Station- post code CH1 5BD) at 2.40pm on Thursday 20th August, 2015 at 2.40pm.
Family flowers only.
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time.

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Cadets Summer Camp Harperley Hall 62/63

Cadets Summer Camp 1962-1963

Cadets Summer Camp Harperley Hall 62/63

This one came from Robin Dodd and was wondering where are they now ?

Please reply to or post a comment below

Looking sad for itself

The old HQ looking tired, overgrown & desolate. Hard to imagine now that it was the thriving home of Durham Constabulary for approximately fifty years !

IMG_2134 Cadet Training IMG_2256
Cadet Training-027
Cadet Training-026
Cadet Training-017

Monday 27 July 2015

Revised pension lump sum factors : Further update

Further info from David Devine in relation to the revised pension lump sum factors :

‘‘Just for further clarification the revised factors apply to male officers who retired between 1/12/2001 and 30/11/2006 inclusive and female officers who retired between 1/12/2004 and 30/11/2006 inclusive

The reason the female start date is different is because the revised factors from 1/12/2001 are lower than the factors used to calculate the lump sums for female officers who retired between 1/12/2001 and 30/11/2004’

If you are in this catchment please email David Devine at Pay & Pensions ( ), with your Rank, Collar number & email address and he will be in contact with as soon as possible

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Revised pension lump sum factors

The below info has come from David Devine : Pay & Pensions (

To those who this concerns : Please can you email David with your email address & service details (Rank & collar number) as this will potentially speed up the process

“We have now received the instructions and factors from GAD for the changes to the commutation factors

GAD have also advise that they are to issue a calculator that is to be used to calculate the lump sums “in a few weeks”, no set date as yet. Obviously they don`t want anyone going off alone and perhaps ending up with different figures from the GAD advice. I understand the calculator will also have a checking process to ensure the correct commutation factor was used originally and that the correct commutation factor is used in the revised tables.

In preparation for this we are currently gathering the data that will be needed to complete the calculator once it arrives. There will also be interest payable alongside the lump sum and this will be determined by the date the arrears are paid

The guidance also requires that officers who are eligible will be required to sign a discharge paper in respect of the matter. The exact wording of this has yet to be sorted but the basic gist is that this will be a final payment in respect of the matter and that they agree to withdraw any claims they may have with e.g. the Pensions Ombudsman in respect of the matter

Obviously this will delay the process a bit as we will need to await the response before making payment. We will pull together the discharge wording and have them issued as soon as possible. I propose to issue the discharge via e-mail where we hold this on our system, any without an e-mail address will be contacted by letter. Anyone who now wishes to provide an e-mail address for the issue of the discharge papers will be welcomed and they would also have the benefit of receiving their payslip on a monthly basis by e-mail

I will let you know when we get a concrete date when payment will be made”

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Police Pension Commutation update

Further to our initial posting on this website of the 16th May :

there have been numerous phone calls to Police HQ & Durham NARPO committee members following the publication of the Pension Ombudsman’s Determination into his investigation of a complaint of maladministration by the Government Actuary’s Department failure to regularly review police and firefighters pension commutation factors we have received a high volume of enquiry about the outcome and implications for individual members of that determination.  

The link below from NARPO HQ gives a brief history of the complaint and addresses, in particular, the question of further complaint about historic commutation factors. The views expressed in the document, in particular about further complaint, are based on comments made by the Ombudsman in his determination.  - See more at:

Sunday 12 July 2015

Blackhill Section : Late sixties ??

Blackhill Section - Lake Sixties

Can anyone identify the missing name from this photo ? If so please leave a comment below or email  :
All the officers were stationed at Blackhill Section late sixties / early seventies
Left to right : , Stan Hegarty, Cliff Hodgson, Jimmy Hettle, Norman Fletcher,Duncan Adamson, Dougie Smith.

Update : Many Thanks to Stan Hegarty & Cliff Hodgson who both replied and confirmed that the ‘unkown person’ was Norman Fletcher and that the picture was taken between 1963 & 1965

Friday 10 July 2015

Death of a retired colleague : Christina Barnes


It is with sadness and regret that we have to advise you of the death of Christina Barnes who died unexpectedly at the weekend, aged 73 years.
Many will recall Christina working in the Chief Constables office for many years, retiring in 2003 after 43 and a half years service.  Christina initially began her service as a typist at Houghton-le-Spring in 1959 before moving into HQ in the late 1960's and she remained in the Executive Secretariat until her retirement.
Funeral arrangements have now been confirmed as follows:
friends are welcome to join with family for a service at 10:45 on Wednesday 15th July 2015 in St Cuthberts Church, North Road, Durham.
St. Cuthbert's is near the Garden House Pub across from County Hall. There is a layby for parking to the east of the church on Framwellgate Peth (the A691) opposite the entrance to the DLI car park. Parking is also available on North Road at the west end of the church. For SatNav use the post code DH1 4NH. Additional parking is also available at the DLI Museum.
Christina will be hugely missed by her loving family and many friends.  Any messages of condolence for the family can be sent to Welfare ( who will ensure they are passed on to Christina’s sister and her wider family.
Our thoughts are with Christina's family and friends at this sad time.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Deaths of two retired ex Durham / Northumbria officers

It is with regret that we have to inform you of the deaths of two ex Durham officers who completed their service in Northumbria :

Chief. Supt. Jack NORRIS, was in Durham Force and transferred to Northumbria, where he retired as a Chief Supt. in 1979.
Since his retirement, he has resided at Belmont, Durham.
The funeral is to take place at Durham Crematorium at 12 noon on Thursday, 9th. July, 2015.

Owen Rogers, aged 81 years died after a short illness on 1st July, 2015.
He served in Durham Constabulary at Durham City and Jarrow C.I.D. until the amalgamation in 1974,thereafter he served in South Shields C.I.D. until his retirement.
He leaves a widow, Enid and son, Adrian (53 years). Funeral arrangements are:
South Shields Crematorium (John Reid Road) on Tuesday 14th July at 11am and, it is believed at Jarrow Conservative Club afterwards.
Our thoughts are with the families at this sad time

Sunday 21 June 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : PC 1272 Robert Pilgram Atkinson

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired officer, PC 1272 Robert Pilgram Atkinson, who died on 13th June 2015 aged 94 years.
Mr Atkinson served from 1st September 1949 until his retirement on 23rd February 1974, having served at Gateshead throughout his service.
The funeral will take place on Thursday 25th June 2015 at 12 pm at Saltwell Crematorium, Gateshead followed by refreshments at the Park View Hotel, Gateshead. This service is not private.
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time.

Saturday 13 June 2015

Spouses Pension For Life

NARPO have been supporting a campaign seeking to achieve police spouse pensions for life, initially started by widow member Kate Hall
Kate launched a petition on this topic last year and the petition attracted over 70,000 signatures. We now wish to enlist your support in drawing more attention to the campaign directly with the recently elected members of Parliament.
Although the Government appear to have made some concessions towards spouses in this matter, those concessions have not yet been consolidated in law but in any case leave police widows and widowers in England, Wales and Scotland at a disadvantage when compared with widows and widowers of police officers from Northern Ireland, where the legislation has been changed to allow all police widows and widowers to retain their pension entitlement following co-habitation or remarriage.
We have drafted a letter on this topic with specific reference to the situation in Northern Ireland, which you may be happy to send to your local Member of Parliament to assist us in this campaign. Local Members of Parliament may also be interested in specific cases of how the current restriction on co-habitation and remarriage affects our members who are their own constituents.
Details of your Member of Parliament can be found at: FIND MY MP

Friday 12 June 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : PC 903 John Knaggs

John KnaggsIt is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired Police Officer : PC 903 John Knaggs, who died on the afternoon of 11th June 2015 aged 68 years, following a battle with cancer for the last year.
John’s service was mainly within the traffic department and he retired from the Accident Investigation Unit on the 14th July 2002.
Following his retirement as a Police Officer John served as a Vehicle Examiner until his retirement on 31st May 2011.
John leaves a widow Susan Knaggs, son Paul and daughters Carolyn and Joanne.
The funeral will take place on Friday 19th June 2015 at 1pm at St Mary’s and St Cuthbert’ Church, Chester-le-Street. This service is not private.
This service will then be followed by a private cremation.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to St Cuthbert’s Hospice .
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time

Monday 25 May 2015

Memories of the Police HQ, Aykley Heads

Please CLICK HERE to view the album Please CLICK HERE to view the album

An album of photos of the ‘old’ Police HQ at Aykley Heads which was officially opened on the 31st January 1969 by the then Secretary of Stat for Home Affairs -  Jim Callaghan and finally was closed in 2015 with the opening of the new Police HQ which has been built on the location of the old Sports Centre/ playing fields adjacent to the original building.

The album shows photos of the site just before and after its closure in 2015 and show the main building, cadet blocks, PC’s hostel and classrooms, parade square & traffic/ workshops block as well as the Radio Mast, designed by Brutalist engineer Sir Ove Arup – the creator of the Syndey Opera House, which in 2003 became a grade II-listed mast, and will eventually be dismantled and rebuilt at the new HQ……

Top view the album please click on either of the pictures above or CLICK HERE

Photos were taken by Dave Atkinson & John Attle

Sunday 24 May 2015

Death of a retired Police Officer : PC 1366 Brian Petre

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a retired Police Officer : PC 1366 Brian Petre, who passed away suddenly at home on 17th May 2015, aged 67 years.
Mr Petre was medically retired on 1st December 1990.
Mr Petre leaves a widow, Audrey.
The funeral will take place on Friday 29th May 2015 at 1.00 pm at Durham Crematorium. This service is not private.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to St Cuthbert’s Hospice.
Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time.

Saturday 16 May 2015

Police & Firefighters Pension Scheme: Ombudsman Determination Published

This article has been taken from the Pensions Ombudsman Service website (
Final decision published: 15 May 2015

We have published the final decision on the complaint made by Mr Milne against the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) about the factor used to convert his pension into a lump sum at retirement and whether the factors should have been reviewed earlier than they were.

Tony King, the Pensions Ombudsman, has decided in Mr Milne’s favour.  The Pensions Ombudsman decided that the factors should have been reviewed between 1998 and 2005, when Mr Milne retired.  He has directed GAD to assess what the factor would have been in 2005 if reviews had taken place and to notify the administrator of the relevant part of the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme so that they can recalculate the cash sum.  He also directed GAD to pay interest on any additional cash sum, from Mr Milne’s retirement date.


Mr Milne is one of a small number of retired firefighters who had made similar complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman Service.  There are many more who would have complained, but were asked not to pending the outcome of Mr Milne’s complaint.  A similar issue arises in the Police Pension Scheme and so the outcome is also relevant to retired members of that scheme.

The complaints followed a 2009 High Court decision that in the Police Pension Scheme GAD was under a statutory duty to produce tables that resulted in “actuarial equivalence”. The firefighters’ scheme has identical rules in this regard. Previously GAD had believed that it was only required to review factors at the request of relevant Government departments. The outcome of that case was that new tables were introduced with effect from 2006.  It did not deal with periods before then.

What does this decision mean for members of the firefighters’ and police schemes?

Strictly our decision only applies to Mr Milne.  It is binding between him and GAD, unless there is an appeal to the court on a point of law.

Mr Milne was a member of the scheme in Scotland. Firefighters are employed by Fire and Rescue Authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in Scotland, though these arrangements have changed over time. So the administration of the scheme involves a number of different bodies as well as different departments in Westminster and the devolved administrations.

However, the Pensions Ombudsman said in his decision that he hoped that all the relevant bodies would swiftly take steps to deal with the position of other affected retired firefighters and police so that it would not be necessary for their complaints to be pursued.

I could make a similar complaint. What should I do?

You should wait to find out what the response to the Pensions Ombudsman’s decision is.

It is possible that there will be an appeal to the court against the decision in Mr Milne’s case.  If there is, then it should be known about quite soon as there is a normal time limit for appeals of a month.

If there is no appeal, then the various bodies will have to decide how to deal with all of the other cases. The Pensions Ombudsman Service is completely independent of them and so does not know whether or not they will voluntarily pay additional cash sums where applicable.

When we know what the response to the decision is, we may publish further information on our website. You may also want to stay in touch with your union, if a member.

How many retired firefighters and police are potentially affected?

We do not have the numbers, but the factors were not reviewed between 1998 and 2006, so anyone who retired in between may be affected if they are reviewed.  However, it does not follow that a review will result in a different factor and a higher cash sum – particularly in the earlier years.

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