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EXCLUSIVE: Millions paid by police in bonuses

Footing the bill
Footing the bill

Police officers and civilian staff in Kent have received bonuses of more than £13.7million over the last three years, we can exclusively reveal.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that for the last three financial years it paid staff around £4.5million annually on top of their salaries.

With amounts between £2.7million and £3million per year, the force’s "special priority payments scheme" accounts for the highest proportion of awards.

It pays between £500 and £5,000 to rank and file officers and recognises their work in tough conditions or in positions of higher responsibility than their rank.

The force also runs a "competency related threshold scheme" which paid out £1.3million last year and £1.2million in the two previous years.

This scheme rewards professional competence, commitment, public and colleague relations and willingness to learn.

Assistant Chief Constable Allyn Thomas defended the force’s bonus culture.

He said: "Like all UK forces, Kent Police awards all bonuses in line with national guidance.

"Some of the bonuses are directly performance related, such as competency related threshold payments, whereas other bonus payments may relate to demands and requirements of particular roles or circumstances.

"There are processes in place to ensure bonuses are awarded fairly and appropriately."

Senior officers can earn their bonuses through Kent Police’s chief officers’ bonus scheme which paid out £40,763 last year.

One off so-called "honoraria" payments are also available to officers who have done work beyond expectation or the requirements of their position.

Freedom of Information officer Nigel Amos said: "The Force Remuneration Panel meets monthly to decide who should receive a bonus.

"This is as established under the Police Pay and Conditions Package."

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