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Former Essex police chief sued over payments

Roger Baker Photo: PA Images

A former chief constable of Essex is being sued by his old force in a dispute over a "golden handcuffs" bonus payment.

Essex Police badge Credit: PA Images

Roger Baker was employed by Essex Police on a salary of £139,000 between 2005 and 2009. Over that period he received an extra £85,000 to reward him for staying at the force.

But now the county's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Nick Alston, has confirmed he is taking legal action against Mr Baker who went on to work for police watchdog, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, and is now a director at Colchester Hospital.

Mr Alston said the deal paid to the 56-year-old former North Yorkshire Deputy Chief Constable fell outside Home Office payment regulations and that he had been aware of this irregularity since 2013.

"Since that time, I have been seeking clarification of the rationale and legal authority for those payments.

"I have continued to progress this matter robustly, always seeking to achieve a resolution that is in the best interests of the people of Essex. I can confirm that I have now commenced legal proceedings to seek to recover £85,000 plus interest from Mr Baker.

"As legal proceedings are now active, I am unable to say anything further about this specific case."

– Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Nick Alston

The PCC also said that he felt it was time for a national review of chief office allowances and bonuses to "guarantee consistency and accountability".