Hundreds of Met Police officers moonlighting as cab drivers

Almost one in five Met Police officers have secondary business interests, figures obtained by the Evening Standard show.

Hundreds of London police officers are moonlighting as minicab andprivate-hire drivers, the Evening Standard can reveal - writes standard.co.uk

More than 300 Metropolitan police officers have declared business interests as drivers or chauffeurs,figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show.

In total, 5,395 serving Met police officers — almost one in five — declared business interests with the force.

Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh said many of the business interests were likely to relate to consultancy work or property. But he added: “Our job is a professional job and it clearly shows you we aren’t paid a professional salary. You have to ask the question, why does someone need a second job when they’re a police officer? It’s not right at all.”

Police officers declaring business interests included chief superintendents — one of the highest ranks.

But more than 70 per cent of officers with declared business interests were police constables, the lowest rank. A Police Federation spokeswoman added: “The sad reality is that some police officers are having to find additional means to make ends meet. Given the choice, officers would rather not take on a second job, but some unfortunately have no alternative.”

The Met police said in a statement that secondary employment or business interests are permitted “providing it is compatible with being a member of the police service”.

It added: “An officer/staff’s role in the Met will always be considered as a priority over any business interest.

“The police service, the regulations and procedures that govern external business interests recognise that there is a need to ensure that where officers/staff have secondary employment or business interests that these are compatible with their role and do not create any conflict of interest.”

The figures come after a warning that key workers including police officers were being priced out of London. Only eight per cent of homes in the capital can be afforded by an officer on an average salary of £44,824, according to research by website reallymoving.com.

One former Met officer, Claire Hearn, said she left the force after previously juggling her duties with a tea party business.

“It was never a problem,” she said. “But it’s not the sort of job you can do without giving 100 per cent. As the business grew, I realised the passion was with that really.

“It’s not something that the Met stop you doing — they decide whether it’s something suitable you can do alongside the police.”

Read more news of London on our site.

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