Police “struggling to cope” with a flood of allegations resulting from the Jimmy Savile scandal have set aside £240,000 to hire former policeman as private detectives, it has been revealed.
The money has been provided to outsource private investigators for Operation Yewtree - the Metropolitan Police inquiry into sexual abuse by Savile and others, a letter to Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee from Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Howan-Howe, showed.
In the letter, Sir Bernard said it was the first time that agency workers have been used as part of the Yewtree investigation and only former police officers, who are aware of the sensitivities involved in investigations of this type , have been hired on three-month contracts.
“Only ex-police officers who possess the requisite investigative skills have been selected to undertake this work. More importantly, they all have experience in investigating child or adult sexual offences,” he said.
Mr Vaz said the Met was “clearly struggling to cope with the demands” of a series of high-profile operations.
He said: "I am deeply concerned that, despite 30,000 officers, they are in a position where they have to use a private company to hire civilian investigators."
He added: "I will be asking the Mayor of London, when he appears before the committee, if he will give them additional resources so we can ensure accountable sworn officers investigate these sensitive matters."
The letter said Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley decided to appoint agency workers to Yewtree after he "formed the view that short- term extra capacity was required"”.
It detailed how agency worker will cost £15.39 per hour, including pay and fee, for the first 12 weeks of the booking, which will then rise to £20.94.