SOUTH Wales Police paid out £950 to officers who carried out unpleasant duties last year, including to officers who have had to search through suspects’s excrement looking for swallowed drugs.
The force has a system of discretionary payments ranging from £50 to £500 for officers who undertake particularly unpleasant or demanding jobs, such as dealing with fatal road crashes or suicides.
But the biggest number of payments so far this year has been for what are termed “drugs toilets”, with 13 officers being given £50 and one £100 for carrying out the unsanitary searches.
Superintendent Steve Furnham said: “From time to time police officers have to deal with some very demanding and distressing situations, whether recovering a body, dealing with serious road traffic collisions or in the course of their investigations.
“A chief officer may award a payment of between £50 and £500 to a member of staff where they are satisfied that the member concerned has performed a piece of work of an outstandingly demanding, unpleasant or important nature.”
Details of the payments were obtained following a Freedom of Information request.
They also show that so far this year four officers have received £50 payments for their work on missing persons cases.
The figures show that for 2011/12, £1,300 was paid out for drug toilets duties, along with £50 for an officer who dealt with a fatal road smash, £50 for an officer who dealt with a suicide, and £50 each to three officers who dealt with other deaths.
South Wales Police deals with around 432,000 incidents a year, and the froce said only a tiny fraction of those attract the unpleasant duties payments
Superintendent Furman said there was a “robust policy” in place for authorising the payments, and each case was discussed by a panel of senior officers and staff before being approved.