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`Generous' pay deal for senior police officers causes concern

Police Federation officials are requesting a meeting over a new pay deal for a chief constable and his top officers giving them cars and health insurance and have requested a meeting.

The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, Keith Hellawell, and the five assistant chief constables in his command team are set to receive new contracts which include cars costing up to £22,000 each and BUPA health care, in addition to a pay rise.

The package was negotiated at meetings of a police authority working party and are likely to be rubber-stamped by the full authority later this month.

Now Inspector Roger Benn, the West Yorkshire Police Federation chairman, is to ask Mr Hellawell for an urgent meeting to clarify the situation.

The Superintendents Association secretary, Nigel Sutcliffe, a divisional commander at Odsal in Bradford, described the package as "somewhat generous".

He pointed out that superintendents had to take out their own personal health care and received a set rate for mileage.

The cars would be available for both work and pleasure. The chiefs currently drive their own cars with a mileage allowance and have access to a pool car. The chief constable has access to a Jaguar XJS.

The police authority is also to be asked to remove the ceiling on "reasonable" hotel business bills and pay a higher proportion of home phone bills and telephone rental for the command team.

Assistant Chief Constable Greg Wilkinson said yesterday the contracts were within the recently published police regulations. "Any increased pay and conditions is counter-balanced by the removal of the right to work to the age of 65," he said.

"This is a matter to be determined by the police authority. The package that is currently being offered sounds a very reasonable comparison to packages available to all those in similar levels in local government and the public sector generally."