Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Wise Use of Police Cash? Letters

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Wise Use of Police Cash? Letters

Article excerpt

IT is reported that Northumbria Police has been unsuccessful in a bid to reclaim PS577,000 of the local taxpayers' money it spent defending itself at an 'unfair dismissal tribunal'. The force was awarded only a 'token' PS15,000 of its claim, thus presenting the area's already overburdened council tax payers with a bill of well in excess of half a million pounds. There may also be the additional cost of the legal fees required for the 'recovery hearing' which the plaintiff claims to be about PS100,000.

Given crime levels and the alleged limited resources for tackling those crimes, does our Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, consider such a large financial outlay a wholly necessary and reasonable price for defending the force's reputation? Vera may argue that the police faced the possibility of a large compensation bill however the disparity between the two lots of fees is not insignificant and might possibly precipitate public curiosity.

Incidentally, it was announced a few weeks ago that police forces countrywide could (if considered appropriate by their relevant PCCs) raise the police council tax levy by PS12 per household. …

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