Police on guard over corruption as cops struggle with money

Police officers are struggling to pay day-to-day expenses
Police officers are struggling to pay day-to-day expenses

SENIOR cops have said measures are in place to protect against corruption when officers struggle with cash.

It comes as a survey by the Police Federation, the representative body for constables to chief inspectors, said 12 per cent of respondents in Hampshire struggled to pay for day-to-day expenses.

Nationally, nearly one in 12 rank-and-file police officers has taken a second job to boost their income, new research suggests.

A poll of more than 27,000 personnel by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) found 7.8 per cent of respondents had additional work – up from 6.3 per cent last year.

Hampshire police’s deputy chief constable said Sara Glen said: ‘We continue to work alongside the Police Federation locally to support officers facing financial difficulties, and acknowledge that some of these plans will take time for the full benefit to be felt by officers and staff.

‘When financial difficulties come to light, proactive work is undertaken alongside the Federation and other support networks to mitigate the risk of corruption or of our officers and staff being taken advantage of.

‘As a police force our staff want to serve the public and support their team. They understand the importance of ensuring they are resilient and, as a force, we work hard to balance the workload. 

‘This has been a challenging period, and we are extremely proud and grateful to our officers and staff who do everything they can to keep the public safe despite having to undertake challenging roles, often performed in difficult circumstances.’

Public data from 2016 shows Hampshire officers had registered hundreds of business interests.

They ranged from work in butchery, comedy, education, cleaning, fishery, building, photography, property rental, catering and floristry.

John Apter, former Hampshire Police Federation chairman and now chair of PFEW, told The News: ‘This is the harsh reality for many officers that they’re forced to take second jobs through financial necessity rather than something that they want to do.

‘This places extra pressure on them at a time when policing is increasingly in demand and the pressure is in some cases unbearable.’

The Hampshire survey results found 42 per cent of the 902 respondents reported worrying about the state of their personal finances every day. And 55.3 per cent said their morale is low.

DCC Glen said: ‘We take these results seriously and have already made wellbeing a priority for the force.’

The ‘high pressure environment’ Hampshire officers are under is ‘exacerbated’ by annual underfunding of £47.7m, she added.