South Yorkshire Chief Constable bonus revealed

South Yorkshire's former Chief Constable Med Hughes
South Yorkshire's former Chief Constable Med Hughes

South Yorkshire’s former chief constable took home £45,000 in bonuses in a single year, an investigation has revealed.

Med Hughes was given two payouts - £30,000 of which came from a local package, and the remainder from a nationally-agreed scheme - during 2009/2010.

They came as part of what has been described as an ‘advanced remuneration package’ approved by South Yorkshire Police Authority two years earlier.

Mr Hughes earned the extra pay, said to reflect his expanded role, commitment to national strategy and improvements within the force, on top of an annual salary of £149,000.

The news comes following calls from leading figures for a review into payments and perks given to chief officers across the UK, made after an investigation cast doubt over whether they were legal.

Legislation introduced in 2003 set tighter regulations on police pay.

But an investigation has revealed the Home Office has never carried out checks to establish whether there was any authority to give locally-agreed extra benefits on top of salaries.

It has been left up to local police and crime commissioners to decide whether payments were lawful.

But South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright, a former member of the Police Authority, has said he will not seek repayment of any bonuses.

A spokeswoman for Mr Wright said: “Commissioner Wright was not a member of the Police Authority until June 2010.

“The Police Authority was advised by leading counsel the payments could be made.

“Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and the District Auditor confirmed the proposal was acceptable to them.

“Commissioner Wright is not seeking repayment of this money to the former chief constable.”

Mr Hughes, who served as Chief Constable of South Yorkshire between 2004 and 2011, waived his entitlement to more payments when he retired.