Few Suffolk officers have served for 30 years

SUFFOLK Constabulary has the lowest number of officers with 30 years service or more than almost every other police force in the country.

The force, which is having to make drastic cutbacks to save money, has a total of just 13 officers who have more than 30 years service behind them.

The figures reveal that there are just four other forces out of the country's 44 which have a lower number of officers with more than 30 years service than Suffolk.

The information was released by Home Secretary Theresa May in response to a Parliamentary question.

The Suffolk Police Federation last night said it did not feel there was a lack of experience in the force.

Matt Gould, chairman of the federation, said: 'We would not say that we are inundated from calls from any officers to say that they have just found out that the most experienced person in their department has only got five years experience.

'I had no idea that we had so few with more than 30 years, but it probably stems from the fact that the force is not encouraging people to go past 30 years. And so those officers that get to 30-year point are not being offered an extension by way of being able to keep part of their pension and then continue to work.'

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Only Gloucestershire, Norfolk, North Yorkshire and Warwickshire forces have less officers with more than 30 years service.

A Suffolk police spokesman said: 'Suffolk Constabulary has police officers and police staff working for the organisation who have dedicated their whole working life to the service of the people of Suffolk.

'A number of officers have chosen to continue this service beyond 30 years. This has enabled Suffolk Constabulary to retain experienced staff who can help train their replacements whilst fully undertaking their current roles.

'Every officer and member of staff contributes to the success of Suffolk Constabulary and as we reduce numbers in response to the financial situation we will seek to maintain a balance of experienced and new people.'

The figures released by the Home Secretary were accurate as of March 31 this year.

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