Anger over ‘abuse of pow­ers’

Daily Star - - NEWS - ■ by BERNY TORRE berny.torre@dai­

PO­LICE have shelled out £30mil­lion in out-of-court pay­ments over the past four years for un­law­ful be­hav­iour by of­fi­cers.

The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice was the worst cul­prit, cough­ing up £20m, in­clud­ing £7.9m for in­ten­tional wrong­do­ing.

Thames Val­ley Po­lice paid £300,000 for 60 in­jury claims, in­clud­ing two £10,000 pay­outs for dog bites. Le­gal ex­perts de­scribed the fig­ures, which do not in­clude le­gal costs, as a “com­plete waste of money”.

Dr Joanna Gil­more, of York Univer­sity’s law school, said they were “likely to be the tip of the ice­berg in terms of those on the re­ceiv­ing end of un­law­ful po­lice be­hav­iour”.

Sus­sex Po­lice paid out £878,777, in­clud­ing £128,349, for neg­li­gence. Po­lice Scot­land in­curred £420,000, while the Gwent force coughed up £63,000, in­clud­ing £10,000 for a data pro­tec­tion breach.

The Met’s to­tal in­cluded £500,000 to for­mer Tory MP Har­vey Proc­tor fol­low­ing its bun­gled probe into false claims of a VIP pae­dophile ring.

His lawyer Mark Stephens said the fig­ures showed how some forces would fight cases “to the bit­ter end”.

He added: “The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice is known for pick­ing the fights that they are go­ing to win and set­tling the cases they know they will lose, with lit­tle mar­gin in be­tween.”

Crim­i­nol­ogy lec­turer Dr Waqas Tu­fail, of Leeds Beck­ett Univer­sity, said: “Ques­tions should now be raised as to the ex­tent to which po­lice forces are us­ing com­pen­sa­tion in or­der to pro­tect both their rep­u­ta­tions and to pro­tect of­fi­cers who may have abused pow­ers.”

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