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.

Thursday 14 May 2015

Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration to mark the 175th anniversary of Durham Constabulary

Durham Cathedral, 2.30pm Saturday 16th May

On Saturday, 16th May a service will be held at the Cathedral as part of the ‘Summer of Celebration’ to mark the 175th anniversary of the force. Starting at 2.30pm and expected to last around an hour, the service will include a sermon from the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler and musical contributions from both the Durham Constabulary Band and the Choir.

Deputy Chief Constable Michael Banks will also be making a short address at what will be one of his last official engagements before he retires.

During the service there will also be a collection, with part of the proceeds going towards the Police Treatment Centres. The service is suitable for everyone, regardless of personal faiths or beliefs and it is hoped as many of you as possible can attend. Family and friends are of course welcome.

If you are going to the service, please take your seats by 2.15pm to ensure the service can start on time.

Sunday 3 May 2015

Latest edition of the Durham Peeler now online

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

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