Belfast Telegraph

One officer worked equivalent of 73 24-hour days in one year

Adrian Rutherford

By Adrian Rutherford

Some PSNI officers have claimed more than £55,000 in overtime payments in a single year.

The revelation came during a meeting of the Policing Board in April.

At the time, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton indicated that the PSNI was considering a cap on overtime.

In March 2018, the Belfast Telegraph reported how it was costing the PSNI £125,000 every day.

A Freedom of Information request by this newspaper found:

• In the 12 months to 2017, a total of £45.5m was spent on overtime - equivalent to £124,730 a day;

• Over 1,787,400 hours of extra work were recorded in that time;

• In the six months from April to September 2017, the bill rose by a further £24m, with almost 814,000 additional hours clocked up;

• One officer worked an astonishing 1,759 hours of overtime in a year - equivalent to 73 24-hour days. Another worked 1,569 extra hours.

At the time, the PSNI said the highest overtime payments were for a "very few" specialist officers.

The PSNI's policy on overtime is summarised in a 16-page briefing document.

It states: "All overtime worked must be essential, approved and fully recorded.

"Overtime should only be approved when it is necessary, after other reasonable alternatives have been considered and excluded, and always in advance of the overtime being worked.

"The use of overtime should always be minimised."

It adds: "The use of overtime, by its very nature, requires officers to work hours additional to their salaried hours.

"Any decision to deploy officers on overtime must take into consideration officer welfare and resilience, and legislative provisions."

It adds: "Supervisors have a responsibility to be aware of excessive hours being worked by their staff and should address any resultant welfare, resilience or disciplinary concerns."

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