One of Britain’s top police officers has warned that police officers will be more likely to accept bribes if they are underpaid.
The comments made by Sir Hugh Orde, The president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), has sparked outrage from MP’s who labelled his remarks as ‘appalling’ and said officers must keep a ‘sense of balance’.
Orde pointed out that the srtarting salary of £19,000 for junior PCs was too low:
“There are certain ranks in the service who are vulnerable in terms of their income and expenditure, which means we should be worried,” he said.
“One thing around learning from corruption and integrity is that if you underpay police officers — for example, there are some forces around the world where officers are hardly paid at all — the consequence is corruption.
“I am not saying that is the case here at all, but it is something we should be mindful of. Some officers are under some financial pressure and they don’t dump those worries when they come to work.”
Michael Ellis, Tory MP for Northampton North slammed the comments:
“I’m appalled at the idea that police officers of any rank will be susceptible to corruption for any reason.”
And Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, said:
“It is the culture against corruption which is much more important than whether a salary is being increased by one or two per cent a year.”