Search

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

11:00 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

    BG

    Monday, June 18, 2012

Other news

Yesterday, 12:23
National Trust East of England environmental awards 2014 Photo Phil Mynott ©NT

The guardians of the region’s stately homes and protected countryside have given a pat on the back their “green” champions.

Yesterday, 08:39
The church of St Nicholas, North Walsham. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

They are sites which tell the stories of our rich historical past – but more buildings, churches and conservation areas are now deemed at risk in the region.

Yesterday, 07:58
Chris Ball, pharmacist at Hurn Chemist in Norwich, who is part of a new campaign urging patients to cut down on wasted medicines. Picture: Supplied

Patients have been urged to help save the NHS millions of pounds after it emerged that almost £5m was being lost every year in Norfolk through unused prescription medicines.

Yesterday, 06:30
Fight for Fakenham presentations. At the front are (from left) Barry Bishop (First Focus), Debbie Brown (The Wensum Centre), Chris Smith (EP Youth) and EDP editor Nigel Pickover. Picture: Ian Burt

Thousands of pounds have been donated to three Fakenham charities thanks to the incredible generosity of EDP and Fakenham and Wells Times readers.

Most Read

Tue, 09:35
Outside the new Chocolate Factory Shop in Fakenham is Sarah Ramm. Picture: Ian Burt

A confectioner will be hoping that a move of premises will give them the sweet taste of success.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Fight for Fakenham presentations. At the front are (from left) Barry Bishop (First Focus), Debbie Brown (The Wensum Centre), Chris Smith (EP Youth) and EDP editor Nigel Pickover. Picture: Ian Burt

Thousands of pounds have been donated to three Fakenham charities thanks to the incredible generosity of EDP and Fakenham and Wells Times readers.

Read more
Tue, 08:58
Glad Richards sits on the new bench in Fakenham, in memory of her husband Jack Richards who died earlier this year. Picture: Ian Burt

A memorial to Norfolk’s king of the road has been unveiled.

Read more
Friday, September 13, 2013
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.  (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)

The prime minister has offered his assurance that the government is “on the case” when it comes to making long-awaited upgrades to the A47.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:39
The church of St Nicholas, North Walsham. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

They are sites which tell the stories of our rich historical past – but more buildings, churches and conservation areas are now deemed at risk in the region.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 7°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today E-edition