There was once a saying: ‘If you want to know the time, ask a policeman’. But not in Manchester, apparently…..
New figures have revealed Greater Manchester Police has spent £16,000 of public money on calls to the speaking clock and directory enquiries.
The force has notched up the substantial bill since April 2010, which included more than 35,000 calls to either high cost 118 or 123 numbers up to October last year.
- Greater Manchester Police made 35,000 calls to either 118 or 123 numbers between 2010-12
- Calls to the speaking clock topped £6,000 during the period
- Critics say it ‘beggared belief’ money was spent on calls while there was ‘real pressure on budgets’
‘This practice is now extremely rare and the force only spent £595 on calls to this number in the 10-month period to October 31 last year.’
A single call to the speaking clock costs 31p.
More than £8,000 was spent on calls to 118 numbers in the 2010/11 financial year. In 2011/12 it spent £1,978. Between April and October 2012, it spent £595 on the calls.
Calls to the speaking clock totalled £2,872 in 2010/11, £2,535 in 2011/12 and down to £442 for the 2012 period.
The Tax Payers’ Alliance (TPA) said it beggared belief the money was being spent on calls while there was real pressure on budgets.
TPA political director Matthew Sinclair, said: ‘It beggars belief that GMP has racked up a bill for thousands just for calls to directory enquiries and the speaking clock.
‘Taxpayers will be aghast that their cash has been spent like that when there is real pressure on budgets and there are plenty of other ways of checking phone numbers or the time.
‘GMP – like any organisation funded by taxpayers – must ensure that money is spent carefully and not needlessly squandered.’
Last year it was revealed the Metropolitan Police had spent more than £35,000 on 110,000 calls to the Speaking Clock in the previous two years.
The force also spent £200,000 calling directory enquiries, figures release under the Freedom of Information Act showed.
Scotland Yard said officers and staff, many without internet access, needed to know exact times and contact details.
News published on: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2284614/Police-force-spends-16-000-taxpayers-money-calling-TALKING-CLOCK-directory-enquiries.html