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Attestation of police officers

Comment 24th January 2015

Police officers having completed their training, are required to make an attestation i.e. to swear an oath to be impartial and fair to all they deal with and to serve the HM the Queen. This oath is taken before a magistrate and also applies to Special Constables who are unpaid volunteers. Often for Specials attestations there is a charming ceremony with family and friends attending to watch a family member make this important oath. It is taken very seriously and only after it has taaen place do officers receive their all important warrant cards. The event is held on police premises and a local magistrate carries out their office with appropriate dignity; no cost is incurred.

In 2009 a petty piece of legistation was introduced which requires all attestations to be made and organised through the magistrates courts and a charge levied of £50 plus £10 per officer. The sums involved are so small as to be nothing but a nuisance to both the courts and the police. The money does not go to the magistrate who carries out the ceremony as they too are unpaid volunteers. This petty rule applies to all officers even those transferred from other forces. The charming ceremonies have to go as the courts decide where it shall take place and when.

Why does this matter?

The Prime Minister has emphasised the importance the importance of encouraging volunteers. Special Constables are volunteers as are magistrates. Yet this piece of legislation causes an unneccessary expenditure.

This is an example of the worst kind of bureaucracy. It merely moves small sums around the system with everybody losing a little as staff time is used to administer what should be a simple and cost free exercise. In the present time of cuts to public spending and redundancies matters need to be kept as simple. Please can we return to a system that worked.

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