Police gift register reveals unusual presents

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By Cara Sulieman

POLICE forces across the country have received around 200 bottles of booze, more than100 boxes of chocolates and 23 calendars in the last three years.

Senior staff from all seven forces, mainly chief constables, were also invited to 61 sporting events including Scotland international rugby matches, Euro qualifier football matches and even rock concerts.

A further £728 was donated in cash in the last three years – all of which went to benevolent funds.

But as well as thank you cards from victims of crime and Nectar points donated by staff, other perks included an invite to view the Scottish Crown Jewels.

On duty

The gifts and hospitality registers for seven out of eight of Scotland’s forces reveal the presents and donations that their officers have been given on duty.

The figures – released under the freedom of information act – show that officer from Northern Constabulary got the most alcohol and chocolates, with a whopping 69 bottles and 73 boxes donated since 2006.

The numbers could be even higher as Strathclyde Police refused to release the information, saying it will be included in their own soon to be published report.

But buried among the alcohol and awards dinner invites are more unusual invitations and gifts.

A Police Inspector at Fife Police was given football shirt from FC Barcelona which was signed by all the team after the Catalans based themselves at St Andrews for their friendly matches against Hearts and Dundee Utd.

Bulgarian police hat

And a police inspector was given ten complimentary to their game against Dundee United by Platinum One Sports Management.

Representatives from the Bulgarian police also gave the Chief Constable of Tayside Police a Bulgarian police hat and badges in 2007.

And Dumfries and Galloway Police officers were given £7 in Argos vouchers whose donator stipulated they must be used to “purchase anything useful for Dalry police station”.

Tom Halpin, the ex-deputy chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police Force was invited to a private viewing of the Scottish Crown Jewels as part of Alpha Translation Service’s tenth anniversary – an invite that he accepted.

Teddy in riot gear

He also accepted an invitation to Robbie Williams’ concert at Hampden Park in Glasgow on September 1st 2006 by Cisco Systems.

And in a similar act of kindness, the Hong Kong police gave the Assistant Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders a teddy bear dressed in riot gear.

A spokesman for the force said: “Officers from Lothian and Borders Police often receive gifts and invitations to attend all types of functions and public events.

“These occasions provide opportunities to engage with our communities and partners in the public, voluntary and private sectors and to build and strengthen relationships.”

Strathclyde Police, who rejected the FOI request, are expected to release their own details within the next three weeks.

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