There is a worrying trend among officers still within their probation period who are cancelling their Group Insurance Scheme subscriptions.
The GIS covers officers for legal expenses (along with many other benefits) that may arise during incidents that happen off duty.
I fully understand that officers will feel that money is tight and that it is best spent elsewhere.
But I can say as someone with 20 years’ policing experience and nearly eight years as a Fed Rep that you are wrong. The officers who say it won’t happen to them ultimately find out that it does – sometimes through no fault of their own.
I do despair when officers are arrested for off-duty matters and are not a member of the GIS. This means that we cannot help them financially to pay for the ongoing fees of the solicitors or barristers.
The cost of living continues to rise and the cost of legal cover is no different. A straightforward matter which can be over within a few months can still cost anywhere between £5,000 and £10,000. That’s money I’m sure the vast majority of us don’t have.
As you are aware, we are all bound by the standards of Professional Behaviour both when on and off duty, so my message to those officers who don’t pay in or are thinking of leaving the scheme is, please consider this carefully.
Speak to your colleagues or officers who have used the GIS before making a decision, because once you go, it may cost you so much more in the long run.
Conduct & Performance Liaison Officer
Date posted: December 4, 2020