Top officers set to receive �33k bonus

NORFOLK police's top brass will receive a �33,000 bonus payment this year - but a spokesman said the force's “exceptional performance” justified the pay-out.

NORFOLK police's top brass will receive a �33,000 bonus payment this year - but a spokesman said the force's “exceptional performance” justified the pay-out.

Norfolk Police Authority confirmed the total would be paid to its chief officer team although it refused to provide a breakdown of the bonuses saying it would be “inappropriate to discuss individual packages as these were personal contractual issues”.

However, a spokesman pointed to the fact that Norfolk was recently named as the safest county in the country as an illustration of the force's good performance.

Authority chairman Stephen Bett said: “The overall performance of the Norfolk constabulary has been excellent. Detections are up, the year-on-year reduction in recorded crime levels in Norfolk are down again, and public confidence is steadily rising.

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“The team have managed a major restructuring of the force, and still delivered �3.7m of efficiency savings in 08/09. Whilst there is, of course, more to do, this is a highly creditable overall performance, justifying bonuses for exceptional personal contributions to that overall standard.”

The bonuses which are paid to chief constables across the country have attracted controversy in the past with critics saying that they encourage target chasing.

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The force currently has five Association of Chief Police Officer ranked officers: chief constable Ian McPherson, deputy chief constable Ian Learmonth and assistant chief constable Kevin Wilkins, Simon Bailey and Charlie Hall.

In recent months the force has attracted controversy after it was revealed that it spent almost �100,000 to lure its two top officers to the county. Mr McPherson was paid �70,000 in relocation costs, including stamp duty, while Mr Learmonth was paid between �19,000 and �28,999.

Norfolk police last year called for the Home Office to scrap the bonus scheme and instead allow forces to offer higher salaries to attract the best candidates.

Under the scheme, set up in 2006, bonuses are paid for exception local performance compared to national policing performance. There is a grading system which allows the chief constable to be paid up to 15pc of his salary with those beneath him earning between 10 and 12.5pc. An executive panel reached the unanimous decision to award the bonus.

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