Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
- How many Special Constables do you have?
- From 2013 until 2020 how many new entrants has there been with people leaving?
- What allowances are offered to Specials-if any supply guidelines for claiming, please?
After we sought clarity, as your request was unclear you advised that at point 2 - ‘01.01.13 to 03.02.2020 how many people joined as Specials? Same dates how many Specials departed the service?’ and at point 3 by allowances you mean ‘Any allowances such as boot allowance, food, travel or accommodation.‘
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the People Services Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.
1 There are 149 Special Constables (as at 12 February 2020)
2 Between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2019 there were 390 new Special Constable starters and 564 leavers.
Special constables will be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred as a result of performing police duties or required training. All claims must be checked for accuracy / validity and authorised by the claimant's first line supervisor or where unavailable, another supervisor.
Documentation for claims
Claims should be submitted monthly to enable area commands to manage budgets effectively. Supervision will check and sign all forms and forward to the local Imprest for processing.
Special constables should complete the FIN7 form as a summary sheet detailing separately the amount claimed for mileage, refreshment / subsistence, boot allowance and fares, as applicable. If appropriate, a Special Constable Mileage or Special Constable Boot Allowance form should then be attached detailing the expenses under that heading. All other expenses will be claimed on a standard Fin 7 Claim Form.
Allowances are paid to special constables as follows:
Special constables who travel to or from duty or training using private transport may claim at the public transport rate.
Special constable travel claims are reimbursed dependent on the miles travelled for each claim, for example home to police base or workplace to police base. Claims must be submitted on a Special Constable Mileage form clearly stating the number of miles travelled, including the start address and the destination. All journeys must be via the most direct route and be submitted via supervision for authorisation.
Where special constables use public transport to travel to and from duty or training, they must make supervision aware that they should complete their tour of duty or training in sufficient time to allow them to use public transport to travel home.
Special constables who incur Tyne Tunnel fees when taking the shortest route to, from or in the course of duty may claim reimbursement using a standard FIN7 form. Receipts are no longer issued by the Tyne Tunnel. Special constables should record the journey in their Pocket Note Book for audit and checking purposes.
Where special constables are claiming for public transport, receipts must be attached to the FIN7 form.
Where the Force requires a special constable to travel outside of the Force area for reasons such as a course or conference, expenses will be paid by the area command / department which makes the request.
A boot allowance is payable to a special constable who performs the required number of duties during a qualifying period. The required duties are 26 hours per quarter = £3.75 and 52 hours per quarter = £7.50. This allowance is paid quarterly in arrears. Claims must be made on a Special Constable Boot Allowance form accompanied by the FIN7, clearly stating the period to which the claim relates and the number of hours performed during the relevant period. Claims submitted without the necessary information will be returned to the claimant for correction.
Refreshment & Subsistence
If required by a supervisor to remain on duty for more than two hours (up to five hours) beyond their pre-planned tour of duty and they have therefore had to buy food, a refreshment allowance to a maximum of £6.87 will be paid on proof of receipt.
If required by a supervisor to remain on duty for more than five hours beyond their pre-planned tour of duty and they have therefore had to buy food, a subsistence allowance will be paid as follows:
• Over five hours but not exceeding eight hours to a maximum £9.61 on proof of receipt.
• Over eight hours but not exceeding 12 hours to a maximum £13.94 on proof of receipt.
• Over 12 hours but not exceeding 24 hours to a maximum £22.96 on proof of receipt.
N.B. Special constables who themselves decide to work beyond their pre-planned hours of duty are not eligible to claim the allowance. Claims must be made on the FIN7, attaching relevant receipts, and authorised by first line supervision or where unavailable, another supervisor.
This is payable to a special constable who attends court as a witness, and as a consequence, suffers a loss of earnings from their normal employment. Claims for Witness Allowance should be submitted as soon as possible on a FIN7 and must be accompanied by a letter from the employer to indicate the amount of NET earnings actually lost.
Loss of Remuneration Allowance (net loss only)
This is payable to a special constable who, when required to perform police duty, has suffered a loss of earnings from their normal employment. Claims for loss of remuneration allowance should be submitted as soon as possible after the duty performed on a FIN7 and must be accompanied by a letter from the employer to indicate the amount of NET earnings actually lost.