The Sun – no, really, bear with us – has been doing some Freedom of Information requests on the amount of overtime paid to the police. It's uncovered a sergeant in the Met who earned £69k on top of his usual salary last year, and a constable who racked up an extra £55k.
Apparently the Met's overtime bill for last year was £109m – compare this to £74m in overtime for last month's riots alone – with the average payment being £4k a year (The Sun doesn't tell us whether this is per officer on the front line or includes administrative staff, too).
The paper quotes conservative think-tank Policy Exchange as chuntering on about "poor management" whereas our first thought was: hang on, if there's so much overtime available, surely this means the Met needs more officers in certain strategic positions, like the armed and protection corps, which The Sun says are the highest overtime earners?
But instead of recruiting, the force is being made to cut 2,000 front-line officers over the next four years. Surely this is going to turn out to be a massive false economy?