DODGY COPS HIT BY £30M COMPO BILL
Anger over ‘abuse of powers’
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.”