Police chief has overseen a 50 per cent rise in highly-paid staffApril 29, 2019
Police chief who claims budget cuts have forced officers to ‘screen out’ four in ten crimes has overseen a 50 per cent rise in highly-paid staff
- Police chief claimed budget cuts forced officers to ‘screen out’ crimes
- But, Greater Manchester’s Ian Hopkins also oversaw a 50 per cent pay rise
- As many as 450 more officers earned £50,000 or more last year
- Chief Constable was paid £251,000 including pension payments of £46,000
A police chief who admitted his force was failing to probe four in ten crimes has been criticised for overseeing a 50 per cent rise in highly-paid officers.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said last week that budget cuts and falling officer numbers had forced Greater Manchester Police to ‘screen out’ 43 per cent of cases
He said the chance of one of his officers investigating a bicycle or shed theft was ‘almost non-existent’ without witnesses or CCTV.
Mr Hopkins admitted feeling ‘worried’ that so many cases were being abandoned.
Greater Manchester’s Ian Hopkins claimed budget cuts meant his force had to abandon four in ten crimes while he oversaw a 50 per cent pay rise for highly-paid officers
But figures published yesterday show that more than 1,260 officers on his force earned £50,000 or more over the past year, up by almost 450 on the previous 12 months. Fourteen members of staff were handed pay and pension packages of more than £100,000.
They include Mr Hopkins himself, who was paid £251,000 including pension payments of £46,000, his deputy Ian Pilling, who is on a package of £192,000, and eight assistant chief constables, whose salaries and pensions range from £118,000 to £153,000.
The force has just over 6,000 officers – 2,000 fewer than in 2010 – and, although it has cut its wage bill by more than £60million, the number of high earners has increased.
Crime campaigners said the situation was scandalous.
David Spencer, research director of the Centre for Crime Prevention, told The Sun on Sunday: ‘It is a national scandal that police bigwigs are handing themselves massive pay hikes while deliberately failing in their duty to protect the public.
‘The sort of crimes Greater Manchester Police are “screening out” are the ones that leave people feeling unsafe in their own homes.’
The Mail told last Wednesday how the force had dropped probes into 81 per cent of reported bike thefts and 79 per cent of muggings in the year to last August. A similar pattern was uncovered in other forces around the country.
Mr Hopkins admitted: ‘If your life is in danger, you’ve been seriously hurt, we will still turn up … if your shed’s been broken into, your bike’s stolen, your vehicle’s broken into and there’s no witnesses, there’s no CCTV and there’s no opportunity for forensics, we’ll be screening that out really quickly.’
Police insisted the ‘screening out’ numbers included cases where a suspect had been charged or cautioned swiftly.
But critics said the failure to investigate certain offences was insulting to victims.
Baroness Newlove, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, said: ‘It leaves victims feeling distressed and unsafe in their homes, which should be their place of sanctuary.’
Louise Haigh, Labour’s policing spokesman, said: ‘This is the scandal happening in every police force in the country – quietly dropping crimes because there simply aren’t the resources to investigate.’
The Manchester force is due a £35.8million budget boost from the Home Office this year, which is expected to pay for more than 300 new officers.
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