Police informers bill tops £64,000

ESSEX Police paid secret informers £64,000 for tip-offs and other clues in their fight against crime, latest accounts reveal.According to draft accounts for the Essex Police Authority, detectives and other crime officers signed off £64,789 in petty cash to be paid directly to anonymous “narks” during 2004/5.

ESSEX Police paid secret informers £64,000 for tip-offs and other clues in their fight against crime, latest accounts reveal.

According to draft accounts for the Essex Police Authority, detectives and other crime officers signed off £64,789 in petty cash to be paid directly to anonymous “narks” during 2004/5.

The total was more than £5,000 greater than had been budgeted for at the beginning of the year.

In comparison to Essex Police, former Home Office minister John Denham told Parliament in November 2001 that the Metropolitan Police had sanctioned payments worth £661,921 to 249 informers during 2000/1 - an average of £2,658 each.


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Paying informants is common practice among the country's law-enforcement agencies and in many colluders give tip-offs after claiming immunity from prosecution.

But last night, a spokesman for Essex Police said he was unable to comment on or justify the figure because the issue was covered under the Freedom of Information Act.

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The £64,000 was part of £289million spent by the authority on non-capital operational matters in the last financial year.

About £882,000 was spent on the force's award-winning media and publicity department, including nearly £210,000 on the salaries and overtime of five full-time and two part-time press officers.

The Essex Police monthly newspaper, The Law, cost £27,000, according to the figures.

Food for prisoners cost £108,000 while doctors called out to perform medicals on those in custody earned more than £717,000.

The authority, which is considered one of the country's leanest with a highly-regarded finance team, also sanctioned £600,000 running the force's Boreham-based helicopter and £107,000 in hospitality and entertaining expenses racked up by officers and staff.

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