Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Should Met Officers fly in business and first class at taxpayers expense?

It has been revealed that The Metropolitan Police spent £2,675,768 on 1,497 business class flights for its officers in the last financial year. A total sum of £44,000 was spent on flying staff first class which is said to have occured when accompanying VIP's who require complete protection.

Business class flights were also purchased to short haul destinations such as France, Ireland and Austria, something that has been called 'indefensible' by Liberal Democrat Dee Dooley.

One of the most expensive purchases was £8000 spent on flying Sir Paul Stephenson to Jamaica to share his expertise with the Jamaican police force who were dealing with a high rate in violent crime.

There is clearly no comparison between the luxury of first and business compared with premium economy and economy cabins but the question has to be asked  if working in the public sector qualifies for being 'on business'. Alternatively,  if police offices are dealing with serious crimes abroad should they be entitled to a flat bed in order to deal with a crime more effectively once they get there?

Baroness Doocey thinks that this spending at a time when front line spending is being cut is "a grotesque waste of money and totally indefensible for short-haul flights to European destinations. It is also difficult to understand why so many Met officers need to travel business class on long-haul flights. The Met should ban these perks immediately and concentrate its resources instead on maintaining police officer numbers."

We are constantly being told that private sector money and perks need to be paid in order to get the best staff in the public sector, yet to spend this much of taxpayers money on luxury flights is unacceptable at any time, let alone when we are being told that the coffers are empty.

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