Off-duty policemen are being paid thousands of pounds of taxpayersâ€™ money to teach fellow officers how to fire Tasers.
An investigation by police watchdog Her Majestyâ€™s Inspectorate of Constabulary found that dozens of officers from 21 forces were involved in â€˜Taser training, personalÂ protective equipment instruction or policing skillsâ€™.
The Mail on Sunday has been told that officers from one force used their holidays and days off to earn money by hiring themselves out as private contractors to train colleagues in the useÂ of Tasers.
Line of fire: Dozens of police officers are being paid thousands of pounds for second jobs training fellow officers to fire tasers (file picture)
As a result, taxpayer-funded police budgets for Taser training are being drained byÂ officers supplementing their police salaries.
Under the official trainingÂ programmes, officers instructed in how to operate the devicesÂ at the National Police Improvement Agency are then expected to go back to their force to train colleagues.
Peter Neyroud, the former head of the National Police Improvement Agency, said: â€˜If serving officers are being paid as if they were contractors running a separate business that would be a highly unusual interpretation of the rules about allowing a business interest.â€™
Last week The Mail on Sunday revealed that 9,000 officers were supplementing their incomes with second jobs. Officers were found to be working as ski guides, representatives of cosmetics firm Avon and masseurs to top up their incomes.
The Mail on Sunday has now been told that the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) will publish new guidelines next month that will prevent officers from using their skills to earn money outside their police duties.
The guidance will state: â€˜Any undertaking of an activity using specialist skills or knowledge obtained through the police service will be deemed incompatible as a business interest.â€™
ACPO will also tighten up the application process when officers seekÂ permission to take on secondary business interests, and strengthen its investigations and monitoring of their off-duty work.
Secondary jobs most likely to seen as unacceptable are those that rely on police skills to train fellow officers or civilians in firing Tasers or self-defence. Officers will also be barred from working as part-time firemen or taxi drivers.
The lucrative Taser training work has been driven by the rapid distribution of the devices to all police forces in the past eight years and a pressing demand to ensure more officers can use them.
More than 10,000 officers in England and Wales are now trained to fire Tasers. The initial training takes 18 hours but officers must top this up with six additional hours each year.
‘Police are being paid thousands of pounds for second jobs teaching fellow officers to fire tasers’