Rush Green soldier: ‘I served in three war zones and can’t get unpaid police job’
A veteran who bravely served in three war zones can’t get a job with the Met Police – because he’s a ‘security risk.’
Rush Green soldier Mattheu Omahony has served his country in Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. But when the 37-year-old applied for an unpaid job as a special constable with the police, he was refused after failing a security clearance.
Mattheu, of Whalebone Lane North, was already given security clearances when working as a combat medic in the Royal Green Rifles from 2000 to 2008 and as a medical technicianwith the East of England Ambulance Service from 2008 to 2010.
But when he applied for a volunteer position with the Met recently he was refused – on the grounds he had failed their security check.
Mattheu, who had hoped to serve with the police at the London Olympics, sailed through every other application stage, including the interview, written test and medical examination. Those wanting to join the police force must first work as an unpaid special constable.
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Yet despite having what Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas described as ‘the ideal CV for a policeman,’ Mattheu’s security clearance was denied without explanation.
Mattheu, who received two medals serving in the Balkans and one in Iraq, said: “I’m ashamed that after serving for eight years in three different war zones I’m now deemed a security risk to my own country.
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“It makes it even more of a kick in the teeth because it’s not a paid position. I was good enough to serve my country but not good enough to volunteer.”
He added: “I’ve lived a good life, I’ve never been in trouble. I’m a Romford boy who fought for his country and then served the community as a medic.
“When I called up the agency to ask why I didn’t pass security clearance they wouldn’t tell me. I’m worried that the reason they’ve got is absurd.”
MP Jon Cruddas has now taken Mattheu’s complaint to Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe. It has now been referred to the Specialist Crime and Operations Directorate.
The Met Police would not comment on individual cases. However a press officer added that the police’s security clearances are different to army and medical service.