Search

Stress balls, jam, and whisky from the Queen – gifts to Norfolk police revealed

PUBLISHED: 11:00 18 June 2012 | UPDATED: 11:44 18 June 2012

The Royal Household gave police £474 worth of whisky miniatures

The Royal Household gave police £474 worth of whisky miniatures

Submitted

What do a brace of pheasants, a George Formby biography signed by the author and a jar of homemade strawberry jam have in common?

Although they may sound like items on the Generation Game conveyor belt, they were among more than 100 gifts donors ranging from MPs and construction companies to the royal household offered Norfolk police officers and staff over the past year.

The list, published in the register of gifts, loans and hospitality 2011-12, provide a window into the working lives of the county’s police.

Nearly a quarter of the presents came from members of the public, and suggest a world that Dixon of Dock Green would be familiar with.

PC Walford declared a home-grown discovery apple worth 50p, PCSO Holden and PCSO Chard listed jars of honey and strawberry jam valued at £2, while PCSO Fuller appeared to be popular, recording five gifts of chocolates, biscuits and sweets.

Other items may have left the fictional PC Dixon scratching his head, whether it be the £8 brace of pheasants from a local estate owner, a £15.99 book about George Formby or a mounted force crest from the Kosovan border police valued at £20.

But perhaps the most intriguing gift was a pair of 50p stress balls for two people working in financial services – possibly to ease their angst while coping with the cuts.

The Christmas period proved a popular time to give presents, with policing teams in Sheringham, Acle, Taverham, Fakenham, North Lynn and Thetford all receiving sweets, cakes and biscuits for their efforts.

But perhaps unsurprisingly, the royal household provided the classiest gifts, distributing £474 worth of whisky miniatures and £100 of Christmas puddings to members of the royal and VIP protection team.

The Norfolk Police Authority’s ethical standards committee reviewed the register of gifts and hospitality in its April 2012 annual report, and said it was “pleased to note that members and officers were declaring any items received”.

It said all gifts above £25 have to be declared, but it encouraged even “nil returns” to ensure openness and complete transparency.

A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman said the force had recently reviewed its policies and procedures towards the register, and sent staff and officers an email outlining the importance of following them.

Asked whether filling in paperwork to declare gifts of trivial value wasted police time, he said it ensured there was a clear audit trail and record which protected recipients, donors and the constabulary.

He said: “Officers and staff are aware how they should be conducting themselves so we offer our public a service that is completely transparent and fair – and ensure we are acting with integrity and within the law.

“Failure to comply with our policies and procedures can lead to disciplinary action, and even dismissal.”

Paul Ridgway, chairman of the Norfolk Police Federation, said the paperwork involved was preferable to there being a perception of undue influence over police.

He said registers of gifts were introduced in response to claims about police corruption in the 1980s, and had “certainly stamped it out in Norfolk at least”.

The register also revealed a sharp fall in the level of sponsorship Norfolk police received, from £82,154 in 2009-10 to £12,187 in 2011-12. A spokesman said the £70,000 drop was due to the end of one-off projects.

martin.george@archant.co.uk

1 comment

  • Quote - "It said all gifts above £25 have to be declared, but it encouraged even “nil returns” to ensure openness and complete transparency. And people working in the public sector wonder why they are ridiculed in the way they are. Because of the large numbers of people now employed by Norfolk Police it must be someones life work in the organization to collect all this data. The cost of which must far exceed the total value of the "gifts" received. Little wonder we need a Police Commissioner to sort things out like this.

    Report this comment

    Hereandthere

    Monday, June 18, 2012

Other news

10:02

Blue skies and sunshine are forecast to turn to dark clouds, lightning and hail this bank holiday in Norfolk.

Yesterday, 15:32

Sun-worshippers are out in numbers today as East Anglia enjoys one of the hottest days of the year so far.

Yesterday, 11:20

A rose inspired by sunsets over a Suffolk river has made its debut at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Yesterday, 09:50

A south Norfolk abattoir, which had its licence to slaughter animals suspended while it was under investigation, has failed in its bid to be allowed to kill again.

Most Read

Sunday, May 21, 2017

It stood empty for nine years before it was acquired by a community group last year.

Read more
Peter Smith
Thursday, December 29, 2016

Police are today appealing for information to track down 10 men on a wanted list.

Read more
Norwich Crown Court
Fri, 16:24

Traders in Diss Heritage Triangle say they have taken a hit as roadworks set up to introduce traffic calming measures are affecting business.

Read more
Graham Minshull
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Attleborough High and sixth form students said goodbye to their secondary education in style by dressing up for their last day at school.

Read more
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Students from Attleborough and Diss high schools became journalists for the day by taking part in the BBC’s School Report project.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 14°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter