Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 14:59 UK

12m compo payouts 'drain PSNI'

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The PSNI paid out almost £12m last year as a result of civil actions, a Policing Board member has revealed.

UUP MLA Basil McCrea said he was shocked that compensation and legal fees resulting from civil litigation has cost £34.5m in the past four years.

Mr McCrea said the money was paid out of the PSNI budget, diverting resources from frontline policing.

"It is important that all right-minded people condemn what appears to be a culture of compensation," he said.

Mr McCrea said the level of claims against the PSNI was not sustainable.

"I do not take issue with well-founded claims but we simply cannot allow the current incidence to continue," he said.

The Northern Ireland figure dwarfs that of the UK's largest police force, the Metropolitan Police in London, which paid out £916,675 in civil damages in 2007/08.

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