Not such a bright idea: Met Police admit they spend £100 to change a light bulb
The figures emerged amid budget cuts across the police force
The Metropolitan Police spend up to £100 every time a light bulb needs changing, figures have revealed.
The force has admitted paying the sum to a maintenance firm if a light bulb “urgently” needs replacing – in “non-urgent” cases a fee of £26 is paid, but this is still many times the cost of a normal light bulb.
The figures were highlighted by Victoria Morgan, director of procurement at the Met Police, after they were requested by barrister Jessica Learmond-Criqui.
Ms Morgan was angered by the fact that the details emerged at a time when budgets are being cut and up to 65 police stations across London face closure.
A police source told the Sunday People: “In the current financial climate the thin blue line is being stretched even more tightly than ever.
"Across the public sector it’s very much a case of every penny counting, and surely we have to make sure we’ve got the best resources possible to catch criminals.
“While officers appreciate health and safety regulations and so forth are par for the course, it still seems a nonsense to pay £100 to change a light bulb – whether the situation is ‘urgent’ or otherwise.”
Budget cuts have seen the total number of police officers reach their lowest figures in over a decade, according to official figures published in January.
There were 128,351 police officers in the 43 police forces across England and Wales on 30 September 2013, the lowest number since September 2002.
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, told the Sunday People: “It’s utterly crazy that the Met would even consider wasting so much money on changing a light bulb.
“This sounds like the punch line to a bad joke yet the bill to taxpayers is no laughing matter.
“Poorly negotiated contracts that result in inflated costs for ordinary tasks should be scrapped.”
A Met spokesman said the services were contracted out to maintenance firm Interserve.
He said the fee can vary depending on the bulb and the position of the lamp and that “health and safety and security” can also “impact on cost”.
- 1 Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
- 5 Watch Richard Dawkins read his own hatemail: 'I hope you do get sodomised by satanic monkeys in hell'
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...