£30m a year to f ight crime abroad as UK po­lice struggle

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News -

BRI­TISH tax­pay­ers are spend­ing £30mil­lion a year on fight­ing crime abroad while cash-strapped UK forces struggle.

The money, chan­nelled through the Depart­ment for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (DFID) and the For­eign Of­fice, is enough to pay the wages of 1,100 beat of­fi­cers.

One ex­am­ple The Mail on Sun­day un­earthed was a £1.5mil­lion scheme to em­power women against sex­ual vi­o­lence through foot­ball coach­ing in Kenya. It fin­ished last year af­ter DFID it­self iden­ti­fied there was ac­tu­ally a risk of the women be­ing ex­posed to abuse through par­tic­i­pa­tion. Other big ticket pro­jects in­clude the world­wide UK Ac­tion Against Cor­rup­tion Pro­gramme which alone will spend £40mil­lion by 2020. Many ben­e­fi­cia­ries have no ob­vi­ous link to the UK, such as the £124,000 spent to ‘build the ca­pac­ity of the Al­ba­nian ju­di­ciary’ or £75,000 to fight se­ri­ous and or­gan­ised crime in Panama.

Tory MP Peter Bone said: ‘This money would best be spent here, help­ing pre­vent vi­o­lent crime rather than on du­bi­ous pro­jects over­seas. Only a frac­tion of that amount could be spent putting more po­lice on the beat, catch­ing crim­i­nals and de­ter­ring crime.

A Govern­ment spokesman said: ‘UK aid helps com­bat crimes such as hu­man traf­fick­ing, cor­rup­tion and drug smug­gling. Tack­ling crime at source re­duces the bur­den on UK law en­force­ment and strength­ens our na­tional se­cu­rity.’

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