Cops accept chocs and champers as gifts

CHOCOLATES, beer, hampers and even champagne donated by supermodel Claudia Schiffer - all gifts presented to Suffolk police in the last four years.

CHOCOLATES, beer, hampers and even champagne donated by supermodel Claudia Schiffer - all gifts presented to Suffolk police in the last four years.

The full list of declared items handed to officers can today be revealed after The Evening Star submitted a Freedom of Information request to Suffolk Constabulary.

A seat in the directors' box at Portman Road - offered to chief constable Simon Ash - was accepted, as were tickets to the Latitude music festival in Southwold.

An MP3 player, books and a stereo were also received by grateful cops, although one officer was forced to politely refuse �100 of Debenhams gift vouchers.

Meanwhile, shocked officers at Horringer police station in the west of the county were presented with four bottles of champagne from German model Claudia Schiffer and film producer husband Matthew Vaughn.

The gift from the couple, who own a mansion near Bury St Edmunds, was used as a raffle prize.

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A police spokesman said officers and staff were required to declare any offer or acceptance of a gift, which was closely monitored by the Professional Standards Department.

The spokesman said: “Many gifts offered to our officers are often from the community they serve as a token of appreciation for their hard work.

“Another example might be a victim of a burglary who is extremely grateful for officers' work and is very insistent that those officers accept some small token, such as a box of chocolates.

“Most offers of a gift are politely refused unless it is considered that a refusal would cause offence. If it is felt that a refusal of the gift would cause offence then the gift is accepted and the officer would report their acceptance to Professional Standards Department via their area commander, which is then recorded on a register.

“Other gifts, which are of a higher value, are referred to chief officers for consideration on a case-by-case basis.

“The chief officer will decide whether the gift should be retained or returned. In many instances the gift is forwarded to a local charity or other deserving cause and are often donated as raffle prizes.”

Should police be allowed to keep gifts? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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