“Britain’s most powerful police body is being run as a private business with an annual income of around £18million.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), which oversees everything from anti-terrorism policy to speed cameras, was last night facing demands that it be disbanded, following a Mail on Sunday investigation into its activities which include:
* Selling information from the Police National Computer for up to £70 – even though it pays just 60 pence to access those details.
* Marketing ‘police approval’ logos to firms selling anti-theft devices.
* Operating a separate private firm offering training to speed camera operators, which is run by a senior officer who was banned from driving……”
“An ACPO spokesman defended the organisation’s activities. He said: ‘ACPO is an independent, professionally led strategic body. In the public interest, ACPO leads and co-ordinates the direction and development of the police service nationally.
‘In times of national need ACPO, on behalf of all chief officers, co-ordinates the strategic policing response.
‘ACPO is funded in part by the Government in order to collectively develop advice for them. Project work which ACPO undertakes on behalf of the police service is at the request of the Home Office and goes towards public protection against serious and strategic threats that can only be tackled above force level.
‘All funds to ACPO are employed in the interests of public safety and the police service.’
He denied that the organisation was keeping huge amounts of money from public funds in cash in its bank accounts.
He said: ‘All funds from the Home Office are tied to projects to tackle serious and strategic threats on behalf of the police service. As projects can be delivered across a number of years, it follows [our year] end accounts may show a surplus.’