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PSNI counts £35k cost for damage done by its officers

The PSNI was landed with a £300 compensation bill — after bungling officers accidentally knocked over an antique barometer during house-to-house inquiries.

That embarrassing case is among dozens of successful claims made against police officers after damage was caused to civilian property, with over £35,000 paid out in the last 12 months alone.

Other claims included damage to a speedboat which the PSNI had been using, and £50 for a bottle of perfume which was broken during a police search.

A breakdown of compensation payments for damaged property reveals 46 claims against the PSNI in the past year.

The most expensive payout, some £4,000, was made after a vehicle was damaged during the recovery of stolen plant machinery.

Some £1,100 was also paid after claims that a lawn and items inside a property — including the carpets and wallpaper — had been damaged during a forced entry.

Other claims, however, are more unusual.

Police had to pay out £955 after a vehicle was apparently damaged by guttering which blew off the station during a storm.

Another £750 was paid to cover repairs to a speedboat which was being used to rescue an elderly couple trapped in their home by floods.

And a £300 payment was made to cover damage to an antique barometer knocked over by officers.

Some claims were relatively minor, including £50 for a broken bottle of perfume and £23 relating to a broken padlock.

A PSNI spokesperson said compensation was paid out where appropriate, but added that the figures must be considered in context.

“It is very important that police are able to fight crime effectively and our aim is always to protect the community and make Northern Ireland safer,” she said.

Belfast Telegraph