Wednesday 5 April 2017

Police Paid Burglar's £45K Phone Bill


Red-faced police have admitted paying a £44,500 phone bill - after giving a burglar a mobile to use for free.

Officers gave the criminal the phone so they could keep tabs on him while he was on bail.

But the burglar handed it to two friends when he was jailed - and they racked up a huge £44,500 bill in just six months.

The staggering charges on the Orange contract phone were worth more than £250-a-day.

The burglar's two friends were arrested on suspicion of theft - but no charges were brought against them when it emerged the crook wasn't asked to sign any forms when he was given the phone.

North Wales Police has now admitted they settled the £44,500 bill.

A spokesman for the force said: "This phone was provided under the Integrated Offender Management process in order to allow frequent support/communication of an offender in their rehabilitation into the community.

"It was used for a number of months and the bills were paid monthly as part of the overall force-wide invoice.

"In the case of this particular phone a contract SIM was mistakenly supplied as opposed to a credit limited PAYG (pay as you go) SIM card.

"When the irregularity came to light in early 2014 the Deputy Chief Constable requested an immediate investigation into how this had occurred, and the matter was passed to Crime Services for further investigation.

"A criminal investigation took place which established three individuals to whom the phone could be attributed.

"Two people were arrested and interviewed in relation to the usage and they provided accounts with regards to their use of the mobile telephone, which included how it came into their possession.

"In this case the evidential threshold was not met and nobody could be criminally charged."

The force said that following the blunder it had carried out a review into the policy of giving phones to criminals.

The spokesman added: "Offenders are selected based on as much relevant information about the individual as can be gathered including offending, lifestyle and substance misuse.

"The multi-agency team and its partners work together to support the individual's journey to positively change their life through access to support services in accordance with their individual needs and re-offending risks.

"A phone allows two way communications to provide encouragement and keep the individual on track.

"Not only will the offender themselves benefit from the opportunity of making changes to their lives, the communities in which they live will also benefit."



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