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Outgoing Bristol police chief Colin Port treated to £4,000 party - at taxpayer's expense

By TomMorris  |  Posted: February 22, 2013

Avon and Somerset Police Chief Constable Colin Port

Comments (18)

OUTGOING chief constable Colin Port was treated to a lavish leaving party costing the taxpayer more than £4,000, it has been revealed.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that Avon and Somerset Police spent £4,090 on a leaving party at the plush Bristol Zoo Pavilion last month.

The bash, at the end of January, was attended by fellow chief constables, former Police Authority members, community leaders, local dignitaries and members of the press including representatives from The Post and the BBC.

Guests were treated to wine and a gourmet finger buffet including an array of luxury sandwiches, chicken satay, fish goujons, sausages and bruschetta.

The evening was arranged to say thank you to Mr Port who took the helm of Avon and Somerset police in 2005.

Under his leadership, recorded crime in Bristol fell by a third and detection rates shot up the national league tables.

But when Sue Mountstevens was elected Police and Crime Commissioner and Mr Port learnt that he would have to apply again for his job, he decided to step down.

Many would not begrudge Mr Port a leaving party but The Tax Payers Alliance felt the cost of the venture was inappropriate given the financial constraints on forces, including Avon and Somerset, at the moment.

Between Jan 2011 and June 2012, a recruitment freeze meant the constabulary shed more than 150 officers but across this year 72 newly recruited police officers are expected to start.

By April 2012, 42 PCSO support staff, civilians who do admin for the PCSOs, were also made redundant as the force battled to reduce its huge budget shortfall.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesperson said: “It is a long standing tradition for an event to be held by the outgoing Chief Constable on his retirement.

“Representatives from voluntary organisations, members of the community from across the force area, partner agencies and the media were in attendance.

“This was an opportunity for the retiring Chief Constable to thank and recognise those who have provided practical help and support over the last eight years.”

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  • Marshwalker99  |  February 25 2013, 5:54PM

    Such greedy pigs!

    |   6
  • Bristolexpat  |  February 24 2013, 4:31PM

    What constitutes a " luxury" sandwich anyway?

    |   -1
  • StanStill  |  February 24 2013, 10:19AM

    There were no LUXURY sandwiches, they were just normal, I was there so I know. Some Jobsorths have nothing better to do than worry about a leaving do, no doubt he has an axe to grind.

    |   -1
  • spragger  |  February 22 2013, 8:14PM

    At least he has gone. .

    |   9
  • PortisheadAH1  |  February 22 2013, 11:10AM

    I have to agree with "Grumbleduke" on this despite their comment not being favourable with many. The hypocritical side of certainly one commenter on this site is that they moan about police extravagencies while at the same time supporting one council's unnecesssary spending of taxpayers' money. In fact when a resident recently commented on here about the much larger sum of £240,000 plus being spent unnecessarily on a council publication when it is already available on the website, "patcrose" criticised that resident. Double standards reigns supreme. I have no doubt that if this article was connected to a certain council leader's retirement bash, one person would have supported the costs and would have wangled their way to an invitation! (My Comment Red Arrowed Personally- M.C.R.A.P.)

    |   -7
  • patcrose  |  February 21 2013, 10:39PM

    Frankly I think this is disgraceful waste of taxpayers money and from the menu mentioned overcharged too. Ihave no problem with people throwing a party for the man but they should at least had the decency to pay for it themselves. If this is their idea of acceptable behaviour I hope Ms Mountstevens now takes a much closer look at the budget to cut out such extravagances.

    |   12
  • Knowlerrr  |  February 21 2013, 8:25PM

    So.......ethics fans. I see from this comments thread that if the Post was at an event that saw the taxpayer was fleeced of £4k, you'd rather they covered it up and didn't report it... Thank goodness none of you muppets are in charge of the country. At least we have a media that is honest. If you'd rather not have that can I recommend some failed states in the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and maybe Chile in the 1970s

    |   -10
  • Richard34  |  February 21 2013, 5:37PM

    We'll have to keep an eye open for the next time that local and national taxpayers money is used to advertise in Northcliffe Digital Associated Press. Couyld probably saved the country £200k plus every years by to stop advertising here and if local officials didn't share their stories as well which is used to sell newspapers and digital space, Northcliffe would possibly go out of business. Contradictory reporting!

  • Brennus  |  February 21 2013, 1:27PM

    "Blimey reporting has today hit a new low!" Unfortunately it's a daily occurence now.

    |   -5
  • vrtsl36g  |  February 21 2013, 11:30AM

    Now a really good follow up story would be 'Zoo animals are missing after gourmet leaving buffet'….

    |   36



      Should taxpayers have footed the bill for Colin Port's leaving do?