A HIGH Court ruling to backdate mileage payments for police dog handlers in West Mercia has been backed by the region’s police federation.
West Mercia Police Federation secretary, Pete Nightingale, has been fighting for the backdated payments since the same rule was made involving Cleveland Police.
Under the ruling, handlers who are required to use their own vehicle to take their dog from the police station to their home, where the animal sleeps, should be paid an allowance.
Pete, who is a former dog handler, said: “We are absolutely delighted that officers will receive a settlement.
“We understand the current financial pressures the Force is facing but we welcome the decision by West Mercia Police to backdate mileage claims for our dog handlers.
“During austerity, our force immediately removed police vans from handlers who were permitted to use them to take their police dogs to and from work.
“Handlers were instructed at the time to use their own cars and, or purchase appropriate vehicles almost overnight. This caused significant financial outlay.”
He said the move not only honoured the court ruling and was in line with guidance from the National Police Chiefs’ Council, but gave West Mercia dog handlers parity with those in other forces.
The news was welcomed by the Force’s dog handlers.
One said: “I’d like to thank the branch secretary for all his hard work in progressing this matter.
“It’s dragged on since 2019 and we look forward to the matter being concluded.
“We’re all really grateful for the efforts of Pete.”