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Row over tax break for special constables rumbles on

Met Police has confirmed Haringey has just three special constables. Met Police has confirmed Haringey has just three special constables.

Friday, April 4, 2014
11:00 AM

A proposed council tax discount for special constables would help just three people who serve the borough, it has been revealed.

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The Metropolitan Police confirmed this week there are just three special constables for Haringey.

It means the Haringey Lib Dems policy – which offers 63 special constables the tax break as a reward for their work – would mainly benefit those working in other boroughs across London.

However, Lib Dem leader Richard Wilson was quick to point out “crime crosses borough boundaries” so any volunteers would be helping keep crime figures down.

The revelation is the latest round in a game of political football which has rumbled on since the opposition group – with the backing of Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone – first tabled the scheme as an amendment to the 2014/15 budget.

Despite the amendment being defeated at full council in February, both Labour and Lib Dem groups continue to pursue the issue. Labour appeared to win one round, when a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office discovered Ms Featherstone had shown no interest in such a scheme during her time as a junior minister in that department.

But Cllr Wilson said this week: “We would like all London boroughs to recognise the work of specials and encourage more people to volunteer – but that requires a borough like Haringey to lead the way. It is a shame that Labour councillors won’t take that leadership.”

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