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Police officers handed supermarket poverty vouchers in bid to prevent corruption – World news

Police officers handed supermarket poverty vouchers in bid to prevent corruption – World news

Police officers are using supermarket poverty vouchers amid warnings that the cost of living crisis could increase the risk of corruption in the ranks. 

The Police Federation in Gloucestershire has handed out 120 vouchers in just three days to hard-pressed officers to help with food bills. 

The organisation, which represents rank-and-file officers, claims that since 2010 its members have suffered a 20 per cent real-terms pay cut. 

Police leaders have warned that leaving officers in financial dire straits is not only bad for morale but may tempt some to turn a blind eye to criminality in return for backhanders. 

Steve James, the Police Federation rep for the Gloucestershire force, said the Government and public had to decide what value they placed on policing. He said: “Officers are finding themselves in a situation where they are struggling financially and discovering there is more month than money. 

“But recently that has been exacerbated because of the growing cost of living crisis, the price of fuel and now interest rates are on the rise.” 

He said the Police Federation had been handing out vouchers to be redeemed against essential food items at supermarkets. 

“These people are not doing this lightly, there is an embarrassment and stigma in asking for help to feed your family, but we have officers who simply do not have a choice,” he said. 

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Mr James added: “One of the concerns that exist when police officers are in financial dire straits is that they might be more susceptible to corruption. 

“We are not seeing that yet but we are in the early days of this crisis. If you put people in a position where they might be given the opportunity to put food on the table for their children by looking the other way when something is happening, then it is concerning.”

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