Tenth of police take second jobs

NEARLY one in ten police officers serving the people of Essex holds a second job in their spare time - and the number is set to swell as new constables struggle to find extra cash to get on the property ladder, it has been claimed.

NEARLY one in ten police officers serving the people of Essex holds a second job in their spare time - and the number is set to swell as new constables struggle to find extra cash to get on the property ladder, it has been claimed.

Following a request by the EADT under the Freedom of Information Act, Essex Police has disclosed the details it holds about its officers' work interests outside of policing.

More than 200 of the force's 2,300 police officers currently hold other jobs that range from floristry to magic.

And the Essex Police Federation yesterday said the figure could well rise because of the house price inflation in the county.

Pc Sue Kelly, of the Essex Police Federation, said: “I can see an increase in the number of second jobs as a very significant possibility.

“Since the human rights act has come into force there has been a slight loosening of restrictions but all police officers have to get permission from the chief constable.

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“There are various occupations or second incomes out there. I know magicians, a florist and coach drivers.

“But it is worth remembering that some of those second business interests listed can refer to the businesses of officers' partners.

“Our officers may find themselves, on occasion, helping out their partner - such as covering them in a shop or helping with the accounts - and they will tend to register that interest rather than falling foul of regulations.”

She added police officers took second jobs for one of two reasons - they either have a passion or a skill that they wish to indulge or they need the money.

Pc Kelly said: “They often take these jobs to make ends meet or to buy things like a holiday - especially in this area where house prices are so high.”

Although police constables make up the bulk of staff holding down second forms of employment, higher ranks of officers are also earning a second income.

The most senior officer with a second income is a chief superintendent, a position that attracts a salary of nearly £70,000, whose other work is listed as “business services”.

Amongst the other high-ranking officers with second jobs are five detective chief inspectors, six chief inspectors, three detective inspectors and one inspector.

The most common second job, according to the force's human resources records, is “driving” though there are 12 officers who work either as entertainers or musicians, 11 officers involved in extra curricular “gardening or floristry”, nine who work as photographers and nine who work as counsellors or therapists.

Other jobs range from sport to property, from looking after animals to DIY and from training to childcare.

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