In December 2009, we wrote about how the Chief Police Officers were riding the gravy train of exhorbitant bonuses. This is despite many of them already receiving basic salaries that exceed that of the Prime Minister.
If the article in todays Daily Mail is correct, many of these officers are continuing to show a flagrant disregard for the present economic climate. This will widen still further the divide between the Chiefs and the rank and file and looks set to create a furious backlash from frontline officers, the media, Government ministers and the general public alike.
What is truly sickening, is that these same officers will happily screw the system for all its worth, and yet will not protect the 143,000 rank and file officers who protect the public in all hours and in all weather, day in day out. They proved their disregard and disloyalty toward their fellow officers when ACPO secretly delivered a document to the Home Office containing 39 recommendations to rip apart the pay and conditions of the federated ranks, without reference to the police federation or other members of the proper pay negotiating board.
In the last three years more than £2.2million has been paid in bonuses to chief constables, their deputies and assistants, new figures show.
Northumbria Police acting chief constable Sue Sim netted the biggest payout to any serving officer this year. More than £33,000 was paid out to the top officer, who faced criticism over the handling of the Raoul Moat investigation.
The latest figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that some officers have even seen their bonuses increase during the recession.
At Merseyside Police, chief officers received £45,192 this year - up from £33,714 the previous year. The payments included £22,178 to Chief Constable Bernard Hogan-Howe, who retired earlier this year.
The bumper bonuses at a time when forces are facing hugh cutbacks has provoked fury amongst rank and file officers. Police chiefs have also been blasted by their own association for accepting performance-related pay.
Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation for England and Wales, said: 'We have been opposed to bonuses from the start. Bonuses for chief constables are unpopular with our members but they they are also unpopular with the public. These bonuses are being paid at a time when forces are facing cuts of 20 per cent and some frontline officers are effectively facing redundancy.'
In Northumbria, the figures, which relate to payments made in the financial year of 2009-2010 for the previous year's work, show that more than £500,000 was paid out to top officers this year on top of their wages. That compares to £700,000 in 2008.
At North Wales Police, chief officers' bonuses have almost doubled from £24,045 three years ago to £42,342 last year. That include £17,515 paid to former Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom.
At Cleveland, chief officers received £49,000, including £20,000 paid to Chief Constable Sean Price, who earns a salary of £130,000.
Durham Police Chief Constable Jon Stoddart received £18,765.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson has reportedly turned down more than £100,000 in bonuses since 2005. We can't help but wonder if he was actually offered twenty five grand a year? If so, is it documented or is this a calculation based on his basic salary?
However, five chief officers at Northumberland Police have reportedly shared £115,000 between them. More than 500 senior officers receive payments for targets worth a reported £1.5m per year.
Amid growing anger over bonus payments in the public sector, the most recent FOI figures disclose that performance bonuses for superintendents, who earn around £70,000 a year, are worth an annual £2.5 million and have risen by 70 per cent since 2007 in some forces.
Although many chief constables, their deputies and assistants are now refusing to accept their bonuses, half are still receiving an average £11,000 based on their performance, the figures show.
Five chief officers at Northumbria Police shared performance-related bonuses last year of £115,500.
In neighbouring Durham, one chief picked up an £18,700 bonus in 2009-10; in South Wales another received £14,300, and in South Yorkshire four senior officers shared £69,000.
Despite Sir Paul Stephenson telling The Daily Telegraph in May that all types of police bonus should be scrapped to prove that officers were motivated solely by their duty to serve the public, according to the 2009-10 figures, the Met remains one of the worst offenders for paying bonuses at a senior level.
Superintendents and chief superintendents who earn a performance-related bonus receive, on average, £3,000 a year on top of their salary of £62,000 to £78,000. In the Met, Britain’s largest force, 136 of the highly ranked officers shared £567,000 in bonuses – a 70 per cent rise since 2007-8.
"All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke (British Statesman and Philosopher 1729-1797)
Are they already being paid too much?
We have previously reported that there are TOO MANY POLICE CHIEFS as it is. Their basic salary levels are questionable, and the continuance of these scandalous bonus payments is an outrage and an insult, both to serving rank and file officers and to the tax paying public.
This is serious.
It is these very same Chief Officers who must assume responsibility for the mis management of resources that has resulted in a mere 10% of warranted officers providing a visible policing presence.
Whilst this top heavy, self serving boys club oligarchy of ACPO officers are allowed to continue this practice, it is killing the morale of officers who really make a difference, those who actually police our streets and protect us.
It is abundantly clear that the ACPO ranks have practised a clever "deflection strategy" over recent months. In fear that their perks and scurrilous acts would be discovered, knowing that it was likely that a new Government would be elected earlier in the year, they set out to deflect attention away from themselves, onto the rank and file with numerous "deflections".
We can only hope that this whole fiasco is exposed and sorted before the elected commissioners arrive.