Kent

Increase in Kent Police staff taking second jobs

The number of people working for Kent Police who have second jobs has almost doubled in the past year, figures have shown.

A Freedom of Information request by BBC Radio Kent showed 155 workers had other jobs in 2011 compared to 81 in 2010.

Some of the jobs staff carried out are said to include ironing and embalming.

Keith Vaz, who is chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, said the process had to be "robust and transparent".

PC Kim Burgess, who has worked for Kent Police for 17 years, said he had carried out "outside work".

He said: "Kent Police is the number one job, outside of that you may be assisting a family member. For some people it's an interest - I've got one colleague who does ironing.

"I've a colleague who is an ex-undertaker and he does embalming."

'Conflict of interests'

Mr Vaz said he believed most people would be surprised to know that police officers are having to take second jobs.

He said: "Where I think the public would be concerned are the types of jobs that would create a conflict of interest.

"For example, one of the forces allows its police officers to be private investigators on a part-time basis.

"It has to be open, robust and transparent."

Ian Pointon, who is the chairman of the Kent Police Federation, said officers needed permission from the chief constable before taking on second jobs.

"People do second jobs for a variety of reasons and we have to make sure police officers are refreshed for duty," he said.

"I know in Kent we would not allow people to work in the security industry.

"Simply because they are police officers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and to do that security job with police powers would not be right."

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