Appeal by almost 400 Royalty & Specialist Protection officers dismissed

19 January 2023

An appeal by around 400 members of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Royalty and Specialist Protection command has today (19 January 2023) been dismissed by the Court of Appeal. Jason Beer KC and Jonathan Dixey acted for the Commissioner (as they did in the High Court). The Court of Appeal’s judgment – handed down today – can be found here.

The appellants were members of Royalty and Specialist Protection (RASP) command: the unit within the MPS with responsibility for the protection of persons of rank and importance. The appellants challenged the decision of Kerr J (see here for the judgment at first instance) to reject their claim for payment of the away from home overnight allowance which is payable when officers are ‘held in reserve’ within the meaning of Annex U of the Secretary of State’s determinations under the Police Regulations 2003. At first instance the trial judge also dismissed the claim for unpaid overtime (there was no appeal against that finding).

The appellants had valued their claim for the away from home overnight allowance at over £9million.

The appellants advanced four grounds of appeal:

1.    The judge erred in construing the meaning of “normal place of duty” in paragraph 11 of Annex U as being a place of work in which the appellants worked, thereby conflating a normal place of duty with a temporary place of duty.

2.    If the judge was correct in holding that the officers’ “normal place of duty” could change rapidly and frequently, he was nevertheless wrong to find that the meaning of “normal place of duty” changed immediately rather than after a specified period by reference to whether the deployment to a location was genuinely temporary in nature and/or by reference to the officer’s base.

3.    The judge erred in failing to hold that the appellants’ duties fell outside the meaning of “routine enquiries” before 1 March 2015 (when the relevant paragraph of Annex U was amended), and misconstrued the term to include routine duties.

4.    The judge erred in failing to hold that the appellants’ duties fell outside the meaning of “routine enquiries” on or after 1 March 2015.

The Court (Bean, King and Simler LJJ) rejected all of those grounds.

The judgment is likely to have implications for other officers, particularly those in units carrying out specialist functions.

Jason Beer KC and Jonathan Dixey specialise in acting for the police service in complex, document-heavy, litigation.
 


Authors

Jason Beer KC

Call 1992 | Silk 2011

Jonathan Dixey

Call 2007

Related areas

Police Law

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