Sharp rise in police overtime payments

AN investigation into the killings of five women in Ipswich was responsible for a major increase in the amount Suffolk police forked out on overtime payments, it was claimed today.

Josh Warwick

AN investigation into the killings of five women in Ipswich was responsible for a major increase in the amount Suffolk police forked out on overtime payments, it was claimed today.

In 2005/06, the force paid out £2,041,000 to officers working beyond their contracted hours, but a year later that figure had spiralled to £3,467,000 - an increase of almost 70 per cent.

The average amount paid to each officer also increased - from £1,554 in 05/06 to £2,667 in 06/07.

Police said the sharp rise was largely down to Operation Sumac - the investigation prompted by Steve Wright's killing spree in late 2006.

In February, Wright, 50, formerly of London Road, was found guilty of murdering five sex workers.

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The scale of the investigation had never been seen before in Suffolk.

Force spokeswoman Anne-Marie Breach said: “The large increase in overtime payments is likely to be largely attributable to Operation Sumac, the large-scale enquiry into the murders of five women in Ipswich in December 2006.

“This operation saw police officers across the county working extra hours both on the enquiry and to ensure policing elsewhere in the county was maintained.

“Hours worked as overtime are difficult to predict and usually occur when there is a major incident or serious crime which requires officers to stay on beyond their normal hours of duty.

“Alternatively it can be pre-planned as part of an ongoing operation or to deal with a developing crime series or trend.”

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