Outgoing Bristol police chief Colin Port treated to £4,000 party - at taxpayer's expense
OUTGOING chief constable Colin Port was treated to a lavish leaving party costing the taxpayer more than £4,000, it has been revealed.
A Freedom of Information request revealed that Avon and Somerset Police spent £4,090 on a leaving party at the plush Bristol Zoo Pavilion last month.
The bash, at the end of January, was attended by fellow chief constables, former Police Authority members, community leaders, local dignitaries and members of the press including representatives from The Post and the BBC.
Guests were treated to wine and a gourmet finger buffet including an array of luxury sandwiches, chicken satay, fish goujons, sausages and bruschetta.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
The evening was arranged to say thank you to Mr Port who took the helm of Avon and Somerset police in 2005.
Under his leadership, recorded crime in Bristol fell by a third and detection rates shot up the national league tables.
But when Sue Mountstevens was elected Police and Crime Commissioner and Mr Port learnt that he would have to apply again for his job, he decided to step down.
Many would not begrudge Mr Port a leaving party but The Tax Payers Alliance felt the cost of the venture was inappropriate given the financial constraints on forces, including Avon and Somerset, at the moment.
Between Jan 2011 and June 2012, a recruitment freeze meant the constabulary shed more than 150 officers but across this year 72 newly recruited police officers are expected to start.
By April 2012, 42 PCSO support staff, civilians who do admin for the PCSOs, were also made redundant as the force battled to reduce its huge budget shortfall.
An Avon and Somerset Police spokesperson said: “It is a long standing tradition for an event to be held by the outgoing Chief Constable on his retirement.
“Representatives from voluntary organisations, members of the community from across the force area, partner agencies and the media were in attendance.
“This was an opportunity for the retiring Chief Constable to thank and recognise those who have provided practical help and support over the last eight years.”