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NEWS > 07 April 2008

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Police cover up exposed after
Serious questions are being raised following a robbery at the home affairs offices in Tshwane recently. SABC News has dramatic and exclusive footage of the incident, which up to now, has been kept under wraps. The recording also reveals how police officials compromised the crime scene.

Five policemen have been arrested following the incident. SABC News has learnt at least R50 000 was allegedly stolen from the home affairs offices on March 23 in the early hours of the morning. Up to now, both the police and home affairs have been mum on the issue.

Home affairs CCTV footag... Read more

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07 April 2008
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Uk: Taxpayers lay out 8millio

Taxpayers are shelling out 8million a year to keep suspended police on full pay.

A shock study of Britain's 52 forces revealed 262 officers still pocketed their full annual salaries after being put on long-term "gardening leave" for alleged disciplinary breaches.

Amazingly, 60 officers have been suspended for more than a year, including one - a PC in Northern Ireland - for more than seven years.

And a Hampshire officer was kept off work for a total of more than six years while he faced two separate corruption probes and a misconduct investigation. Having been cleared of all offences, he was then put back on the beat.

The 8million bill to taxpayers was worked out on the basis of the average officer's salary being 30,000-a-year.

But two of those on the suspended list were high-ranking superintendents who were on much higher wages.

Yesterday, campaigners blamed police chiefs for acting too hastily in suspending officers.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "In any large organisation there will always be the odd case of people suspended on full pay.

"But it is clear from these new figures that the practice is extraordinarily rife in the police force. With rising crime, we need every policeman we can get on the beat.

"The practice of suspending policemen left, right and centre must stop because not only does it waste taxpayers' money, it also puts lives at risk."

The average length of suspension is said to be 10 months, although it can be much longer.

Sussex Detective Chief Inspector Peter Salkeld, 42, was allowed to keep his pay while suspended for two years - despite later being jailed for three years.

He used his work credit card to buy luxuries and spent a 1,100 police widow fund grant on caravan gear.

London's Metropolitan Police - the largest force in the country - had the most officers suspended, with 32 still collecting their wages.

They included 26 constables, five sergeants and a chief inspector.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The vast majority of officers are professional and honest.

We have 31,304 officers and the number suspended accounts for a tiny minority."

A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokesman added: "We expect our staff to behave professionally, ethically and with the utmost integrity at all times."

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show there were 26 suspensions in the Northern Ireland force, 19 in Strathclyde, 13 in Northumbria, 12 in South Wales and 10 in Greater Manchester.

Only Bedfordshire, Cumbria, Dorset and Gloucestershire had no police officers suspended.

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