Police to review royals borrowing from guards

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The Independent Online

The practice of police officers using corporate credit cards to pay for royal expenses is to be reviewed after The Independent revealed that the Prince of Wales had paid back nearly £3,000 to Scotland Yard after his sons borrowed the money from protection officers.

Lord Harris of Haringey will examine the use of the cards by officers protecting the Royal Family, after members of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) criticised the practice.

This week we revealed that a police credit card was used to pay a hotel bill of £2,744 during a trip to Europe by Princes William and Harry in 2007.

Lord Harris, a former chairman of the MPA, said the review will be part of a wider examination of the force's specialist operations next year.

Clarence House officials said it was not unusual for officers to pay for items for security reasons, with the money reimbursed. The Metropolitan Police said it was part of the card-use protocol.

Joanne McCartney, a Labour member of the MPA, said she was "concerned" officers appear to be "picking up the bill" for those they were protecting. Caroline Pidgeon, a Liberal Democrat member of the MPA, said officers could be left with no credit available when needed for their work.