Top officers were given thousands to receive ‘personal tax advice’

THOUSANDS of pounds was paid to chief police officers to receive personal financial advice, it can be revealed.

The former chief constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Steve Green, received £6,517 in 2008 to pay for what the force said was “pension tax advice”.

Mr Green retired in 2008 and it appears the publicly-funded advice was in relation to how best to manage his personal financial affairs.

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The information was provided in response to a freedom of information request asking for payments made to chief officers outside the national framework.

Nottinghamshire also said former assistant chief constable Ian Ackerley received payments of £8,988 and £6.093 in 2011 which were outside the regulations or Home Secretary approval but refused to say what the payments were for other than indicating the £6,093 was for “tax paid on benefit in kind”.

The force claimed the reasons for the payments were Mr Ackerley’s “personal information” and the public did not have the right to know what the money was spent on.

Of more than 40 forces across England and Wales who were asked for details of payments, Nottinghamshire was the only one that maintained reasons for chief officer remuneration should be withheld from the public.

A spokeswoman for Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Paddy Tipping was unable to explain further or to offer any legal authority for making the payments:

She said: “It is felt that every payment needs to be considered on individual basis, taking into account Contracts and Terms and Conditions of employment agreed at the time of appointment.

“All of the payments to which you refer were made during the Police Authority’s era, well before the Commissioner was elected in November last year, and subject to agreed approval processes at that time.

“The PCC is acutely aware of the need to ensure value for money and welcomes the opportunity to discuss, with fellow Commissioners, the terms and conditions with regard to the appointment of Chief Constables, at a meeting on 9th October.”

Chief police officers with Warwickshire Police have also received payments for personal financial advice in relation to their pensions.

Andrew Parker, who was promoted from deputy to chief constable, during the 2011/12 financial year and Neil Brunton, who moved up from assistant to deputy chief constable in the same year, each received £500.

In the following year, assistant chief constable Karen Manners received £750.

Explaining the payments, Warwickshire Police said: “This benefit in kind was for professional financial advice on the impact on their existing police pension and allowances on consideration of an appointment to a higher rank.”

Warwickshire PCC’s office did not respond when asked for the legal authority for the payments and whether efforts would be made to recover them.